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DARA revolutionises its warehouse

The Hänel Lean-Lift, distributed exclusively throughout the UK and Ireland by IAS Industore, is a fully automated vertical lift storage system that maximises storage capacity by means of height optimisation. Within the Lean-Lift the heights of stored items are automatically measured in order to store them at the most height optimised location; this enables dramatic floor space savings. Picking times are also dramatically reduced with goods being brought to the user at an ergonomically positioned access point. Furthermore, with parts brought to the user in seconds at the touch of a button productivity is increased. DARA, at RAF St Athan, has invested in 11 Hänel Lean-Lifts and has reaped these benefits.

Launched on 1 April 1999, the Defence Aviation Repair Agency (DARA) brought together the RAF Maintenance Group Defence Agency (MGDA) and the Naval Aircraft Repair organisation (NARO). DARA was established as a Trading Fund on 1 April 2001. Since 1999, DARA has changed beyond recognition. Today, it offers the expertise and ability to completely strip, replace, repair and rebuild everything from systems, components and equipment to whole aircraft, to both military and commercial organisations. DARA's site at St Athan, Barry, recently invested in a new, state of the art super hangar within which Jaguar, Hawk and Tornado fighter planes and VC10 load carrying planes would be serviced. DARA required a reliable turnkey storage solution with first class service support for the storage of parts and tools involved in the servicing of these aircraft.

IAS Industore was ultimately chosen to provide this solution. Standard racking and shelving was installed for the storage of larger, less frequently used items such as aircraft panelling; this was complemented by a mezzanine floor which doubled the floor space that the racking and shelving could cover. The key component of this turnkey solution however was the installation of the 11 Hänel Lean-Lifts.

A vital part of the solution was the storage of fighter jet canopies. For this task, a 3.5m x 4m x 10m lift has been installed. 19 canopies are stored within this machine on a footprint of 12.4m2, to store these on standard racking and shelving an area of 117.8m2 would be required. Therefore, a floor space saving of 89% was made. The remaining 10 Lean-Lifts, installed in two banks of five, were installed to store small, fast moving components.

Bob Bairstow, Head of Facilities at DARA, comments on the project, “Industore was chosen by the MOD tender process by offering best value for money for the provision of storage units in our new warehouse. The contract was then extended to include the complete fit out of the warehouse with racking and mezzanine flooring. The service to DARA provided during all the phases of the project has been excellent. We are delighted with the service and support given to us by Industore.”

Telephone 02920 239000

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