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Aisle Master in store at Anglesey Aluminium

Anglesey Aluminium, a smelter that produces over 140,000 tonnes of aluminium per year, has taken delivery of an Aisle-Master articulated forklift which has considerably improved handling and storage at the company's main store in its smelting plant in Holyhead on the Isle of Anglesey.

Stores Team Leader Craig Bolton manages a warehouse which stocks everything needed for the smooth running of the plant, ranging from parts, tooling components and drums to motors which can weigh almost 2 tonnes apiece. He was faced with something of a challenge when looking to replace the very old stand-in reach truck that had been used inside to handle the varying sizes of pallets, and which, he admits, was becoming a museum piece.

The pre-existing aisle widths were configured around the dimensions of the reach truck, and the very tight areas posed a problem for most potential replacement forklifts. After trialing an Aisle-Master on the advice of Materials Handling Specialists Carrylift, Craig and his colleagues were extremely impressed with its performance overall, and in one problematic, very narrow aisle in particular. He realised that this articulated forklift was the unique answer. “The only other solution would have been to take all the racking down, temporarily relocate all the pallets and build a new aisle. With 12,000 different products in store this represented a logistical nightmare!”

An additional plus of the Aisle-Master has been its designed versatility to work both inside and out, and consequent ability to replace yet another forklift (a counterbalance truck) for the offloading and reloading of delivery wagons. As the universal truck in and around the stores, it has eradicated double handling, saving time and increasing efficiency.

Anglesey Aluminium opted for an electric powered Aisle-Master from the company's range (LP Gas power is also available). Its articulated design enables it to easily manoeuvre in the narrowest of the store's aisles, and previously redundant top level racking can also now be used thanks to the lift heights of the range, creating further storage space. Craig sums up the benefits: “We have improvement all round. Flexibility is the key as there is no such thing as a standard load, and the Aisle-master can handle anything in stock.”

A crucial aspect of operations at Anglesey Aluminium is safety – “if it's not safe, don't do it that way” is a company slogan. The Aisle-Master is also contributing to better health and safety procedures in the stores due to the much improved visibility from the cab, and the reduction of truck movements by using just the one forklift instead of two.

Able to work in aisles of just 1.75m, Aisle-Masters are available with lift capacities of up to 2000kgs, with lift heights of up to 11.5m depending on application. Build quality is a particular feature of the Aisle-Master range, which is manufactured at the company's dedicated facility in Ireland, where the trucks undergo stringent quality controls resulting in a global track record of reliable operation.

Aisle-Master Ltd., Clontibret, Co. Monaghan, Ireland
UK Tel: 07725 642 472
E: info@aisle-master.com W: www.aisle-master.com

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