As one of Europe's leading providers of outsourced logistics and distribution services Unipart Logistics provides world-class facilities. To efficiently service a new contract at Cowley, the company awarded a major storage contract to Milton Keynes based, LINPAC Storage Systems.
Project Engineering Manager, Dennis Crumpen, was tasked with selecting a storage company which could supply a suitable solution in time to fulfil the contract. Following a competitive tendering process he chose LINPAC Storage Systems, he comments, “My decision making process centred on selecting a company with the ability to deliver within the tight deadline and one that could provide value for money. LINPAC Storage Systems not only came up with the best price, they were also able to guarantee that the job would be finished on time, so they were the obvious choice.”
The Unipart Logistics' distribution centre at Cowley services a number of large retail contracts including Homebase and Halfords and has a footprint of around one million square feet. The storage solution required for the contract to consist of two separate blocks of racking: VNA for bulk holding; wide aisle for both bulk storage and picking.
Containers are delivered directly to Cowley and the Unipart teams perform a decanting operation and palletise the products before putting into storage. Out of the 9,500 pallets positioned in the VNA racking, some are destined for immediate despatch to a central distribution point, whilst others are used to replenish the picking stock in the wide aisle section.
To speed up the process of the movement of stock the VNA racking has been designed so that the pallets are positioned sideways (1200mm deep by 1000mm wide) in the bays. This enables the VNA truck driver to place them onto the pick and deposit station the correct way round for the reach trucks to collect. They are then placed directly into the wide aisle racking saving time by avoiding unnecessary handling.
A further 6,000 pallets are stored on five levels in the block of wide aisle racking. Here sacrificial legs have been incorporated into the base of the uprights to enable the part of the upright most likely to get damaged to be replaced quickly and at a minimum cost.
The combination of bespoke VNA and wide aisle racking has precisely met Unipart's requirements to maximise the efficient storage and handling of their retail contract. Dennis Crumpen concludes, “In line with our schedule, LINPAC completed the racking solution on time and the quality of the installation was exceptional”.
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