Wednesday 7th Dec 2016 - Logistics Manager

Powered conveyors mean minimal forklift use

Distribution business Phil Hanley has installed powered and gravity conveyor equipment at its new 129,000cu m cold store in Nottinghamshire to meet the need for high-volume pallet handling with minimal forklift truck use. The new equipment was installed by European Conveyor Systems (ECS).

The cold store comprises 69 rows of mobile racking and four static racks, 10.5m high, for the bulk storage of incoming goods on pallets and five mezzanine floors linked by goods lifts, where orders are picked for despatch. The warehouse operates at -22°C, except in the loading area.

Two powered conveyors link the bulk storage racking to the loading bays. The ends of the conveyors are at floor level so that pallets can be loaded onto them quickly by pedestrian pallet trucks. Each pallet is lifted to main conveyor’s height by an automatic pallet elevator, and once three pallets have been accumulated they are carried 36m to the bulk storage area, where a reach truck lefts them on to the racking.

Each of the powered conveyors can handle a minimum throughput of 60 pallets an hour weighing up to 1,150kg. While their primary role is handling incoming goods, they can also be used in reverse to carry pallets for despatch.

ECS has also supplied 192 gravity lanes – 1,000mm wide and 2,500mm long – at the front edges of the five mezzanine floors to facilitate the handling of pallets needed for order-picking.