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Stertil Stokvis update and improve loading bay facilities for Waitrose distribution centre

Stertil Stokvis has completed a substantial installation for Waitrose, valued at £373,000, on a new chilled warehouse that will update and improve the loading bay facilities at its Distribution Centre in Bracknell.

The skeletal construction of the Waitrose building means that its structural steelwork is installed on the outside. Also, the main building is piled and floating, with the dock and warehouse floors moving separately to the rest of the building.

During loading and unloading operations, the food retailer had been experiencing problems with toppling milk trolleys and damage to dock shelters as well as constant buffer problems. The combination of these factors led the company to decide that a redesign of the whole dock area was required.

With considerable experience of loading docks, Stertil Stokvis was an ideal choice to supply Waitrose with the loading bays and associated equipment. The company also surveyed the complete operation and offered invaluable assistance with the design and layout of the new docks.

In total, Stertil Stokvis supplied pre-cast concrete loading bays for 31 dock levellers. These included 17 P Series parallelogram dock levellers and 14 X Series telescopic lip levellers. Additional equipment to complement the levellers included 31 doors, 14 WIS combination seals, seven foam dock pads, traffic lights, PE bumpers and composite control panels.

The pre-cast dock leveller pits installed can be either single or multiple self-supporting units and are configured to suit the requirements of each application. Cast in steel or timber moulds, the units are ready to accept any Stertil Stokvis dock leveller.

Impressively smooth transition of materials handling equipment across the platform of the Stertil Stokvis P Series leveller and its gapless rear hinge made it a clear choice for the Waitrose site. The leveller has a hinged lip, activated by a unique parallelogram linkage. This extends the lip automatically as the platform deploys and keeps the lip horizontal, regardless of the platform position. Also, the ergonomic design of the P Series ensures lower physical impact on operators and reduced maintenance costs for materials handling equipment.

The Stertil Stokvis X Series dock leveller features a telescopic lip that extends in line with the platform. Reinforcement under the lip is set back by 360mm to ensure a solid landing on the vehicle deck and the lip extension is very precisely controlled, allowing accurate placement so that vehicles can be fully loaded and easily unloaded by pallet truck.

The WIS seal combines an optimum seal with a wide variety of applications: the versatile range of vehicles for which it is suitable, including double deck vehicles, have made it a sound choice for many buyers. To help demonstrate the effectiveness and reliability of PE buffers to replace the company’s problematic previous units, Stertil Stokvis offered Waitrose a free trial. This trial proved conclusively the performance and cost effectiveness of the uniquely interchangeable buffers.

"The site is completely transformed," says Colin Robson of Waitrose. "We now have reliable, high-performance dock equipment which allows us to load and unload vehicles quickly and efficiently, without the levels of damage and spillages we were experiencing before."

Stertil Stokvis is a market leader with over 40 years’ experience in loading bays and dock areas and has an international reputation as a specialist in its field. The company focuses on quality, both in design and production, to ensure years of trouble-free operation.

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