Daryl Anodising, the aluminium finishing division of premium showering products manufacturer Daryl Industries, has been able to make sweeping changes to warehouse configuration and increase storage capacity by 30% thanks to the versatile operation of 2 LPG powered Combilift multi-directional forklifts.
The company's purpose-built site, in Skelmersdale, Lancashire, takes delivery of mill-finish aluminium extrusions, which leave as highly polished “mirror finish” components that are used to produce high quality shower enclosures for the company's two branded ranges – Daryl Showering and Aroco Showering by Daryl. Previous operations were based around counterbalance trucks and free standing storage of stillages, but the limitations of this system prompted a review of materials handling, with the aim of rationalising procedures in general and freeing up more space in the storage area in particular.
The Carrylift Group, Daryl Anodising's materials handling supplier, recognised that by exploiting the versatile capabilities of the Combilift multi-directional forklift, the company would be able to implement a new concept based around the installation of racking together with a guided aisle operation. This combination would make better utilisation of space and speed up picking without posing the risk of damage to the lengths of aluminium, which need to be kept in a flawless condition.
The 2 – 3 metre long stillages of raw materials are now stored in a compact area directly next to the machining, anodising and polishing facilities, a much more convenient location than the previous layout which meant longer runs to and fro for the trucks supplying these lines. Due to the dimensions of the stillages, Combilift customised the trucks with shorter than standard forks and platform length, enabling aisle widths to be reduced to 1.9m. Combined with the storage height of 3.5m, this economical use of space has enabled the company to stock more and consequently to take on more orders, allowing the business to grow.
Chris Grierson, Materials Handling Manager at Daryl Anodising points out further advantages of the racking system: ” Locating stock has become much quicker, as before, the stillage we wanted was inevitably at the bottom of the pile, and racking is far preferable from a health and safety point of view. Drivers work faster in the guided aisle operation and the possibility of driver error has been eliminated. ”
Loading and offloading from delivery vehicles outside has also been improved. Gradients and uneven terrain in the yard pose no problem for the Combilift. All-wheel hydrostatic drive and super elastic tyres enable outside operation in all weathers. This will also give Daryl the flexibility to extend loading to the night shift, as the onset of sudden icy conditions in winter will not hinder operations.
From Chris's point of view, the fact that the Combilifts can be used in all stages of the anodising process is of major benefit. As the finished product becomes shorter and therefore lighter in the stillages, the 4-tonne capacity easily copes with moving 3 stillages at a time into the despatch area, which was not possible with the old counterbalance trucks. The Combilift's manoeuvrability eases work in the tight corners of this area.
Combilift Ltd. offers a range of multi-directional forklifts with various fuel options and capacities from 2.5 to 12 tonnes. A warehouse design service is available free of charge from the Combilift design team in Co. Monaghan, Ireland, to help customers realise the full potential of storage space available.