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another success for miniload system

Univeyor has been awarded another order for its innovative Miniload system, which will be installed into a brand new distribution centre being built for pet product giant Interpet. One of the UK's leading manufacturers and distributors of pet and aquarium products, Interpet has outgrown its original 1960s warehouse and is set to switch distribution to the new, purpose-built centre located close to another of its current warehouses in Bridgwater, Somerset.

Interpet supplies a range of products, from ponds to pet products, to both wholesalers and retailers. The company is also a significant supplier of pet book titles and is a subsidiary of the American Central Garden and Pet Group.

Interpet orders had historically been manually picked from a pallet pick face, but the company was looking to increase both efficiency and pick rates and wanted to source a supplier that could provide an automated system to achieve this. Univeyor was short listed by Interpet and subsequently won the business on the strength of its competitive quote and considerable experience in the field.

Univeyor's Miniload system offers a unique combination of high capacity and low maintenance with exceptional reliability. It has been specially developed to provide efficient and cost-effective handling in a wide range of demanding applications and environments. The system to be installed at Interpet will include three Miniload cranes, each twelve metres high with a 35-metre aisle length and capable of storing 9000 totes, measuring 600 x 400mm and weighing up to 50kg. The conveyor system, which will transport totes from the store to one of four picking/packing stations, is capable of handling 300 tote movements an hour.

The Miniload system uses PC-based software with a Windows user interface to ensure user-friendly control. At the heart of this is the Univeyor on-screen facility, which displays and acknowledges all picking instructions via touch screens, with pictograms for simple and reliable operation. The whole system is backed by a variety of support contracts, including 24-hour online system support and advice throughout the world.

“In warehouses these days, high pick rates and fast access to goods are essential,” says Mike Vernon, General Manager of Univeyor. “Systems are expected to be both flexible and highly efficient and 'mini-warehouses', where minimum space and processing time are coupled with high labour efficiency, are becoming much more common.”

The twelve-week Miniload installation for Interpet began mid September, with commissioning and handover scheduled for mid December.

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