Custom-built cantilever racking from Pro-Dek Storage Systems has enabled Ancon Special Alloy Steels to consolidate all stock under one roof and increase the safety and speed of materials handling procedures at its headquarters in South Yorkshire.
Ancon SAS, a member of the Material Advantage Group, specialises in supplying high-quality steel forgings and rough-machined components for well-head and Christmas-tree applications in the oil and gas industry. As part of a group-wide programme of continuous improvement and growth, the company identified potential for major cost savings and efficiencies in its supply chain by changing its warehouse storage and handling procedures.
The company stocks steel bar in a variety of grades with diameters from 25mm to 1200mm and lengths up to 10 metres. Previously most of the bar up to 350mm diameter was stocked in U-racking that often involved staff in handling several items, using a crane and slings, in order to access the product required. Because of the low-density nature of the U-racking, the company also had to rent 2,000m² of additional space in another building in order to accommodate the full product range. This arrangement required fork lift trucks to carry bar between buildings to be cut to length.
The installation designed by Pro-Dek consists of single and double sided cantilever racking units that provide individual locations for each product stocked and allow items to be accessed quickly by side-loaders without any double-handling. Double-sided racking is 5770mm high and has ten arm levels per column, six of which are rated 2000kg and the remainder 1000kg. Single-sided racking is 4,060mm high and has six arms levels rated 2000kg.
Arms are 920mm long, have a rake of 2° and incorporate a 25mm welded up-stand as an additional safety feature. They are colour-coded to clearly indicate permitted maximum loadings. Protection rails have been installed at the base of the racking to prevent damage by lift trucks working in the aisles.
The contract, which also involved dismantling some of the old storage racking, had to be carried out with minimal disruption to Ancon’s business. Pro-Dek completed the installation a week ahead of the planned eight week schedule.
Following the completion of the project, Pro-Dek’s expertise and efficiency were praised by Ancon’s managing director, Simon Matthews. ‘Pro-Dek worked closely with our project manager, and their organisation was slick and professional’, he said. ‘There was very little disruption, so our business could continue virtually as usual, and we have now been able to close our satellite warehouse, which has reduced our costs and made our working practices more efficient. The whole project has been very successful.’