Transdek UK has fulfilled a major order to supply 15 double deck lifts, and ancillary equipment, at a new Southern regional distribution centre (RDC) for TJ Morris, the Home Bargains retailer.
Established over 30 years ago, Liverpool based TJ Morris currently operates over 400 Home Bargains stores across the UK and employs over 13,500 staff. With a turnover of £1.5bn and growth of over 15% per annum, the company is the second largest independent grocer in the UK and plans to expand to more than 700 stores within the next five years.
To facilitate the retailer’s rapid growth, a £110m, 1,000,000 sq ft distribution centre has been constructed at Amesbury, Wiltshire, which went live in October 2015. Transdek was appointed to install 12 20-tonne (18 pallet/30 roll cage capacity) and three 6.5-tonne (6 pallet/12 roll cage capacity) double deck lifts at the RDC, along with a vehicle cleansing lift, which is used for jet washing and cleaning inside vehicles.
Gary Cobb, Distribution Operations Manager for TJ Morris, commented: “We have already converted our goods out operation with Transdek’s double deck loading systems at our RDC in Liverpool. Based on its all-round professional service and the reliability of its lifts, Transdek was the chosen partner for our new Southern RDC.
“Transdek’s team really understands that the loading bay has to meet ever more stringent demands on safety and efficiency, and continuously develops its loading systems to enable more streamlined logistics and distribution operations. They engaged with us from the start on the Amesbury project, generating proactive ideas and designs to make the double deck operations as efficient as possible.”
Each modular double deck lift was supplied as a pre-built pod, designed for rapid installation directly onto the yard slab. All lifts were initially held off site at Transdek’s Yorkshire-based factory and delivered to Amesbury as required to meet the build schedule of main contractor McLaren. A two-day window was allowed for the fitment of each unit.
Acknowledging Transdek’s involvement, Garry Mountain, Senior Site Manager at McLaren, said: “Transdek’s project management has been outstanding throughout the design and build process. From planning yard gradients, with the project architect, to finished installation and commissioning, I have been extremely impressed with the company’s professionalism and efficiency.
“By utilising a multi-skilled and well-trained core installation team, Transdek was able to offer a highly effective one-stop project management capability. The company’s unique pre-built, modular double deck loadhouse pods also brought significant benefit to the project, allowing a streamlined delivery and fitment programme, with a standard yard pour and just one delivery per pod. This helped reduce the overall build time and cost, and kept onsite disruption to a minimum.
“The entire Transdek team really understood the project requirements, and their double deck lift installs were all completed on time.”
Throughout the design process, Transdek’s project management team liaised closely with the architects and sub-contractors. As a result, 900mm high docks were incorporated at the site’s dedicated double deck bays to provide a direct run-through onto the bottom deck of Home Bargains’ growing fleet of fixed double deck trailers.
The 900mm docks allow a double deck trailer to be loaded in just two lift cycles – significantly reducing vehicle fill times, which speeds up turnaround, minimises product handling, improves safety and drives down costs. Transdek also manufactured 15 modular loading ramps to facilitate a descending gradient from the warehouse for the direct run on and run off the lower vehicle deck.
Commenting on the dedicated double deck dock height, Cobb said: “The introduction of the 900mm high dock concept is another example of Transdek’s innovative thinking to improve overall efficiency, which will deliver significantly faster vehicle fill and turnaround times.”
The double deck lifts are all fitted with Transdek’s Active Management System (AMS), which integrates the unit’s control panels into the RDC’s main IT system, providing live plant status information and analysis of the performance of each loading bay. Remote access to the AMS allows rapid analysis and resolution of any technical issues by facilities managers and service engineers.
A bespoke, built in transformer is an additional feature fitted to the lifts. This enables operators to power tail lifts directly from the loadhouse to facilitate efficient loading whilst freeing up tractor units and shunters during the loading process.