The national distribution centre for ASSA ABLOY the global leader in door opening solutions, has turned to one of the most experienced forklift truck and warehouse equipment dealers in the country to supply a fleet of 15 new forklift trucks to fulfil its diverse materials handling requirements.
ASSA ABLOY’s door lock and security products, encompassing the established Yale, Chubb, Union, Mul-t-lock and Adams Rite brands, are distributed throughout the UK to locksmiths, Distributors, OEM’s and national retailers, including the largest High Street DIY specialists. Each of these outlets is served by the national distribution centre in Wolverhampton, West Midlands, which contains thousands of products within the group’s portfolio.
Mark Beresford, General Manager at ASSA ABLOY’s national distribution centre, says Yale UK’s response to the tender process was the most comprehensive received to the company’s brief.
He said: "Our 120,000 square foot distribution centre houses 8,000 pallet locations with over 7,500 SKUs in stock ranging from small door rim cylinders to large UPVC multi point locks that are over 6 foot in length when packaged.
"With such a vast product range comes many different materials handling needs. It was essential that we had a range of equipment that could cater for the different sizes of packages and pallets we distribute. But we also needed flexibility and the peace of mind that the fleet would be managed and serviced efficiently and that we knew what all of the costs were going to be up front.
"The package proposed by Yale UK covered every aspect of the fleet’s management without any hidden costs or surprises. It includes a tyre replacement programme, full service schedule, monthly KPI reports and regular review meetings to ensure the fleet continues to meet our needs as our business inevitably grows and changes in line with customer demands."
New generation of electric counterbalance trucks
Included within the 15-strong fleet are two Yale electric counterbalance VF forklift trucks, the most manoeuvrable four-wheel electric forklifts currently available, and one new VG series cushion tyre electric counterbalance forklift truck.
"What we liked about the VF model was Yale’s innovative extended steer-axle that will allow us to operate more effectively in confined spaces.," says Mark.
Providing a turning radius comparable with many three-wheel forklift trucks in the market, the two 1,600kg capacity VF electric counterbalance forklift trucks are used in the ‘Goods In’ area, unloading products from the three containers that arrive every day.
Mark adds: "The Yale VF is an outstanding forklift truck to drive. It is extremely comfortable for the operator and is very easy to manoeuvre, especially in tight and confined spaces, which is vital in our ‘Goods In’ area where space is at a premium."
The 2,500kg capacity VG forklift truck has been fitted with a fork positioner for lifting the multi point locks that are packaged in large wooden crates over 6 foot in length. With Yale’s renowned ‘Hi-Vis’ high visibility mast, the Yale VG forklift was specified to be able to reach the top beam at 5.3 metres in the warehouse whilst operating in the confined aisles.
Operator Comfort Key to Productivity
Yale’s new generation of electric counterbalance forklift trucks, put operator comfort at the forefront of design and this impacted on the purchasing decision as employee welfare is high on ASSA ABLOY’s agenda.
The fully adjustable suspension seat with swivel seat option allows operators to find a comfortable driving position unique to them and the three point access with the lowest step height in the industry makes getting on and off the truck easier and less fatiguing.
The VF and VG forklift trucks also have keyless start with an access or PIN code restricting use to only those operators that are fully trained and permitted to operate the trucks. Mark says: "During busy periods, we employ contract workers who sometimes may not have had the relevant training to operate the trucks correctly. The access code system restricts access to our forklift fleet to only those operators that have been professionally trained and have the appropriate Fork Lift Truck licence."
Power to the Fleet
The ASSA ABLOY fleet also includes four Yale MP18 1800kg Pedestrian Controlled Motorised Pallet trucks which are used for picking smaller items and packages which they then deposit in the marshalling/despatch area.
Prior to the delivery of the new pedestrian motorised pallet trucks, the order pickers would have to wait for a trained forklift truck operator to move certain products with a counterbalance truck if they were too heavy or bulky for manual handling. This can now be carried out immediately saving time for both the order picker and the forklift truck operator.
Energy Efficiency as Standard
"Energy efficiency was a major consideration when identifying the best fleet to suit our needs. Energy efficiency leads to a reduction in our overall running costs as well as providing us with significant environmental benefits," says Mark.
ASSA ABLOY is also making the most of Yale’s e-balance technology which offers the best energy balance on the market whilst delivering competitive productivity, all of the Yale electric counterbalance forklift trucks have been configured to Yale’s eLo setting to maximise battery life.
New high frequency chargers have also been installed in the distribution centre making charging significantly more efficient and reducing overall electricity costs.