Thursday 27th Oct 2016 - Logistics Manager

Flexi solves storage problem

Yacht business International Coatings is now using two Narrow Aisle Flexi Generation 3 lift trucks to overcome its very narrow aisle storage needs. Supplied through Lex Harvey, the Flexi trucks are in operation at International Coatings’ facility in Felling near Gateshead.

International Coatings is one of the world market leaders in marine, protective and yacht coatings. The yacht business produces about 5.2 million litres of coatings a year, with products being packaged into containers ranging from 125ml cans to 205 litre drums. Some are stored in the warehouse before being despatched.

Also, the flammable nature of some of the product meant that any forklift truck had to comply with Pyroban Zone 2 specification for hazardous areas.

International Coatings already had a Flexi on trial when it bought a business based in Belgium. About 13 trailer loads of product previously stored at this site had to be consolidated at the Gateshead warehouse. By refitting the racking around a very narrow aisle layout and installing another Flexi truck, space has been created for a further 600 pallets.

According to Narrow Aisle, warehouse space and efficiency is maximised because the articulated design of the Flexi means it can operate in aisles as narrow as 1,800mm, depending on pallet size.

The Flexis are being used to pick and place products from the racking and have delivered advantages in addition to increasing the warehouse’s pallet capacity. International Coatings’ yacht small batch production and warehouse manager, John Hurst, explains: “We were impressed by the Flexi we had on trial and the benefits it could offer. With their articulated forks they are much quicker and easier to use, and have significantly increased our warehouse efficiency.”