Friday 21st Oct 2016 - Logistics Manager

ECS completes Kemira pallet buffer project

A heavy-duty conveyor system suitable for handling pallets of various dimensions and weights up to 1000kg has been completed by European Conveyor Systems at the Bradford premises of Kemira Chemicals.

The factory makes chemicals for water treatment and operates 24 hours a day, 360 days a year. The conveyor system was designed to carry full pallets loaded with sacks of chemicals from a hooding machine to an external area for collection by fork lift truck and delivery to storage. Buffer capacity was required to provide flexibility in lift truck availability, and the system also had to ensure the loads did not touch to avoid damage.

The system designed and installed by ECS uses the Gebhardt series 525 zero-pressure accumulation conveyor system, which provides precise control of the pallets and ensures there is no contact between them. Six accumulation lanes have capacity for 36 pallets – nearly two hours of average output from the hooding machine.

The discharge ends of the accumulation lanes are exposed to the weather, so they have been built to a weatherproof specification, including the lift truck sensors at the end of each lane.

Poland and Czech Republic are new logistics hot spots

Countries such as the Czech Republic and Poland have overtaken Germany in the race to be the location of choice for pan-European businesses, according to research by consultancy Total Logistics and property experts King Sturge.

Kenneth Porter of Total Logistics, said: “Working through a number of different scenarios.. demonstrated the relatively poor performance of Germany from a warehousing perspective, given its central location and otherwise excellent reputation. Even when we factored out the comparatively high cost of labour in the country, Berlin, Bonn and Dusseldorf came out relatively poorly against other cities such as Prague, Warsaw, Katowice and Vilnius.”

“Only when you model a more complex scenario, for instance a UK plus two other warehouse network, do countries such as France and Benelux re-appear.

The research also highlighted the importance of warehouse design and the differences in understanding between logistics experts and developers when it comes to speculative developments.

For example, the report says many developers are taking terms such as “cross docking” too literally by assuming that occupiers with a requirement to cross dock must necessarily have a warehouse with loading docks on two elevations. In reality, most cross docking operations actually involve a U-shaped product flow using a single elevation.

“During our research, we found many developers still believe that traditional flow through warehouses, where product is unloaded from one door and re-consigned through an opposite bay, are best. In reality, we are looking for far more flexible approach where speculative developments need to be appropriate for a wide range of sectors, from the apparel market to the FMCG sector,” said Porter.