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Fowler Welch switches to Transdek for Washington DC

Fowler Welch, one of the UK’s leading logistics service providers in the temperature-controlled sector, has switched to Transdek to upgrade double deck loading capacity at its Washington distribution centre.

The Spalding-based operator, which was named Logistics Supplier of the Year in The Grocer Gold Awards 2018, commissioned Transdek to fit a new double deck lift to increase loading efficiency and reduce vehicle turnaround times at the site.

Fowler Welch’s 59,200sq ft, BRC-accredited hub in Tyne and Wear provides a chilled and ambient consolidation facility and pick-to-order service for a major retailer, as well as straight-to-store orders for the convenience sector.

The South Yorkshire manufacturer partnered with Fowler Welch to design a solution that would optimise both the efficiency and productivity of loading double deck trailers at the site. Rather than simply replace an old scissor lift, as originally specified for the project, a new inbound-specific loading bay was created on the opposite side of the warehouse, which had previously been unutilised.

Transdek produced a new 12.5-tonne version of its vehicle-to-ground (V2G) range of modular double deck lifts specifically for Fowler Welch’s flat-floor warehouse. The lift offers a 3.1-metre stroke that enables it to load all goods vehicle types, from double deck trailers to home delivery vehicles. With a load capacity of up to 24 (860mm x 750mm) roll cages, or 13 standard pallets, the machine can unload a full double deck load in as little as 35 minutes.

The unit was supplied with a five-year enhanced warranty and a seven-year tailored operation and maintenance package. Specified with Transdek’s Connect dock management system, the lift provides dedicated maintenance engineers with mobile access to historical service records and live plant status readings.

With specialist engineers able to resolve the majority of faults remotely, Transdek claims its Connect system can reduce maintenance callouts by as much as 80%.

Pre-fitted in to an 11m x 4.1m modular loadhouse ‘pod’, the lift was delivered onsite in two sections and installed in three days. The pod unit was finished in 75mm-composite cladding and sealed to the main thermal coolchain.

Nick Hay, Chief Executive at Fowler Welch, said, “We chose Transdek for this project based on their reputation for engineering quality and reliability. They have not let us down. The new lift has speeded up double deck unloading on our inbound operations significantly and given us an extra loading bay, which has allowed us to cope with increased traffic at the site.

“Transdek managed the complete project, including design of the new loading bay, ground works and development of a bespoke lift to suit our needs. We have been impressed with their professionalism and efficiency throughout.”

The entire installation was carried out by Transdek’s engineering team within just eight days, including creating the additional loading bay, laying foundations, forming new insulated access into the cold store and extending the concrete yard slab, prior to fitting the V2G double deck lift unit.

Transdek fitted an insulated, composite door to the inside of the new warehouse door aperture, as well as a galvanised roller shutter door and inflatable dock shelter to the vehicle end of the loadhouse, to maintain thermal integrity between the warehouse and delivery vehicles.

The V2G’s single-ram design is intended to reduce the high wear points found on traditional scissor lifts, and to offer a lower-maintenance alternative. The manufacturer states an average 98% productivity rating for its V2G range, based on nine years of operating data since the lifts were first introduced.

Leon Butler, Managing Director at Transdek, commented, “Because the V2G is a surface-mounted unit and lowers from 3.1 metres right down to ground level, it doesn’t have any workings underneath the lift platform. This makes maintenance and hygiene access much simpler, and it also means we can avoid the drainage issues and extra installation times and costs associated with pit-mounted scissor lifts.”


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