The installation of mobile racking facilities at one of the country's leading third party grocery storage and consolidation organisations has enhanced operational efficiency, and opened up potential new business opportunities – while effectively creating space equivalent to an additional warehouse. Boughey Distribution's recent development, based on its continuing success in the ambient grocery storage field, has seen it create three new storage facilities simultaneously at its Wardle site in Cheshire. Each offering 100,000 sq. ft. of warehouse space, some 54,000 pallet positions are now available which, alongside its Winsford and Deeside sites, allows the company to offer a total of no less than 130,000 pallet locations – fulfilling the needs of a range of customers of all sizes.
The Link 51 facility in each of the three new warehouses features eight aisles of static storage alongside blocks of mobile racking – four in one warehouse and three in the others – all of which comprise eight mobile chassis that each provide nine back-to-back bays. Both the static and mobile racking areas provide six beam levels of storage that are able to accommodate pallets up to 1,250 kgs in weight. In the latter case, this means each chassis can hold up to 810 tonnes – equivalent to the weight of a jumbo jet – all simply moved at the touch of a button.
“A number of key considerations needed to be addressed by the pallet racking design in the three new warehouses,” comments Keith Forster, Managing Director at Boughey Distribution, “including the need to house the relatively high pallet dimensions used, for example, for tea – one of our principal stored products. Alongside this, the ability to load up to the full pallet weight at every level of the racking – rather than conventionally just lower down – has enhanced our storage options and opened up new business opportunities for us. At the same time, the combination of bulk storage in the mobile area and faster picking positions in the static racking has allowed us to meet both the ongoing and, where appropriate, seasonal requirements of our customers.
“Moreover, the saving in aisle space that results directly from the mobile racking design has not only allowed us to maximise the effectiveness of the footprint, but has also negated the need for new trucks and new skills training which would have arisen had we opted for a narrow aisle alternative,” he adds.
Each chassis within the mobile racking facility is mounted on a series of rails set into the floor. Activation either via a control panel or a remote control pad allows the operator to open a selected aisle – which is then automatically illuminated and benefits from infra-red safety protection – to provide conventional reach truck access. The bulk of the facility can therefore be kept in a 'closed' configuration, minimising the aisle requirement and thus generating the significant capacity benefits arising from the installation.
“Boughey Distribution has been a long-standing customer of Link 51 and we are delighted to have been involved in such an important development for the company,” comments Major Accounts Manager at Link 51, Chris Patey-Round. “The organisation operates in an increasingly competitive environment so combining bulk storage with a readily accessible picking facility is clearly paramount. The ability of the mobile racking design to accommodate full weights at the higher level is also significant,” he continues, “whilst the storage of three pallets per beam width in the mobile racking area also minimises component requirements and thus has helped reduce installation costs.
“The move is clearly set to consolidate Boughey Distribution's position in the ambient grocery storage field and we believe the installation serves as an excellent example of both our product design and our ability to work closely with the customer to meet precise operational and installation requirements,” he concludes.
Link 51 is the UK's leading storage equipment manufacturer and is part of
Whittan Storage Systems – the UK based, pan-European, storage-focused manufacturing group. Other group companies include Link Lockers, Moresecure, N C Brown, Polypal and Permar.
Whittan Storage Systems group supplies products and services across the Continent and indeed, further afield, with sales of some £130 million and a workforce of over 1000. Through manufacturing facilities in four countries and sales operations in six, all Whittan Storage Systems' customers benefit from its commitment
to its core business.
Tel: 0800 169 5151 Website: www.link51.co.uk