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LINPAC revamps racking

Located in Lancaster, Reebok's main warehouse and distribution centre has, for the last six years, held footwear only. The company's apparel ranges have been stored in a separate warehouse some miles away. Earlier this year, Craig Westworth of DHL Exel Supply Chain set LINPAC Storage Systems the challenge to fine-tune the storage solution in the warehouse to enable footwear and apparel to be stored together in the Lancaster facility. This required a 42% increase in pick faces with no enlargement of the footprint of the building.

Westworth explains how the extra capacity was achieved, “LINPAC were very quick and responsive – they provided us with detailed CAD drawings of the whole site. To achieve our ambitious target it was necessary to add runs of racking or shelving everywhere it was possible to do it safely.

“Space was identified at the front and back of the picking tower where extra shelving could be installed. To give additional capacity in the very narrow aisle racking area, mesh clad cantilever pick and deposit stations were erected to provide valuable extra storage.”

He continues, “In our business there are big peaks and troughs so the storage system has to be flexible; depending on the time of the year we move stock around the warehouse, sometimes using up to 5,000 of the pick faces as bulk storage.”

LINPAC Storage Systems has been involved in supplying racking and shelving to the Reebok warehouse and distribution centre in Lancaster since the company first moved into the facility 15 years ago. At that time the warehouse was three separate chambers and over the years four major projects have developed it to accommodate Reebok's changing needs.
The facility occupies 185,000 sq ft and now has the capacity to hold up to 33,000 skus – 3.2m units.

There are five floor levels of shelving storage with a total of 15,000 pick faces in the large picking tower which is serviced by two goods lifts. Bulk storage is provided by LINPAC's 13m high very narrow aisle racking which can hold up to 12,000 bulk pallet positions.

Carton live storage is used to store boxes of footwear for ease of picking and apparel is selected from cardboard tote boxes. To maximise storage, the company uses three different sizes of totes – depending on the apparel to be stored. The smallest totes provide up to 30 pick faces across one bay.

Westworth concludes, “With the help of LINPAC Storage Systems we now have both footwear and apparel under one roof here at Lancaster. That has meant huge savings in both warehouse and transport operations; we no longer have the cost of running two separate warehouses and we have been able to dispense with the daily consolidation run that was necessary to service orders for both footwear and apparel.”

For further information regarding the LINPAC range of high performance racking and shelving contact LINPAC Storage Systems, Garamonde Drive, Wymbush, Milton Keynes MK8 8ND telephone: 01908 561222, Fax: 01908 567455 e-mail: solutions@linpac-storagesystems.com
Web: www.linpac-storagesystems.com

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