Sunday 23rd Oct 2016 - Logistics Manager

Nifty move for cherry picker manufacturer

Niftylift, the UK-based manufacturer of cherry pickers, boom lifts, access and work platforms has avoided the need to move to a larger production and storage facility after replacing its reach trucks with Flexi VNA articulated trucks.

The company exports to Europe, the US, Middle East, Far East, Australia and South African markets and needed to keep pace with demand and its plans for future growth, so set about plans to upgrade the warehouse facility at its Milton Keynes manufacturing plant.

The 50,000 sq ft warehouse provides inbound sequencing for the company’s manufacturing facility and acts as a buffer store for spare parts which Niftylift supplies to customers and distributors worldwide.

Niftylift holds more than 6,000 line items at the facility, so its challenge was to create more storage space within the existing storage cube.

Steve Beckwith, production manager at Niftylift, says: “We wanted to get more out of our current assets and didn’t want to invest in a new building if we could avoid it. So, we looked at storage solutions that would enable us to increase the storage density at our current facility and allow us to increase capacity without incurring the cost that a move to bigger premises would involve.”

Prior to the revamp, Niftylift’s warehouse had been served by reach trucks stacking Euro pallets 1.2m deep in 2.8m wide aisles.

However, replacing the reach trucks with Flexi VNA articulated forklifts has allowed the aisles to be reduced to 1.8m.

This has created enough space within the store to permit extra runs of 6m high racking to be installed which provides enough extra pallet spaces to meet Niftylift’s current needs comfortably.

The Flexi VNA is a four-wheel articulated truck designed to require minimal manoeuvring in aisles without investment in high cost guided truck systems.

Niftylift’s truck drivers all received a short on-site conversion training to ensure they were familiar with the articulated truck’s operating technique.

“The Flexi VNA has allowed us to reduce aisle widths to maximise storage capacity while maintaining a safe and productive operation that allows fast and efficient pallet put away and retrieval cycles,” adds Beckwith.