SSI Schaefer has recently completed a year-long project to design, manufacture and install automated pallet handling and storage systems at the Spalding-based facility of T F Bowman & Son.
Bowmans store meat, food products, fruit and flowers in ambient, chilled, blast-frozen, frozen and tempered conditions. With ever increasing demands placed on the business they recognised a need for improved service, responsiveness and availability seven days a week and so embarked upon a two-year programme of construction.
The company clearly had a readiness to embrace technology and they worked with SSI Schaefer on designing storage facilities which would maximise storage capacity as well as providing safe freezer access. Bowmans invested in the first tempering and blast freezing facility in the country to be equipped with SSI Schaefer’s Orbiter pallet shuttle system. They have three tempering chambers one of which has been designed to work as a blast freezing chamber at -25oC. Each chamber is able to accommodate 52 pallet locations in four channels across two levels. The pallets are automatically put away and retrieved using Schaefer’s Orbiter system, which makes human access to the chamber unnecessary.
SSI Schaefer also installed mobile pallet racking which provided high density storage for frozen products in 9,270 pallet locations. Bowmans recognised SSI Schaefer’s experience and quality of product, with work starting on-site in April and the project being completed within 12 weeks.
As Managing Partner Peter Bowman explains: "Thanks to SSI Schaefer we are now able to cater for long or short term frozen storage, as well as providing automated tempering facilities. This added to our existing services of temperature controlled storage, order collation and independent QA inspection of fresh produce. We pride ourselves on delivering a personal, efficient service and customer satisfaction is paramount to what we strive to achieve at all times."
The company now has 29 temperature-controlled stores capable of achieving -2°C to +20°C plus three freezer stores. The stores are accessed via 46 covered loading bays. They also have three ambient areas. All of their stores are constantly monitored and alarmed 24hrs a day should there be any deviation outside set temperature parameters.