Retailer Heal’s has moved to narrow aisle racking to maximise storage and handling efficiency at its new distribution centre in north London. It uses Atlet warehouse trucks including two Omni DCR combination pallet stackers/order pickers. Palletised items are stored more densely than in the previous warehouse but with greater load selectivity.
In the old warehouse items were block stacked and handled using counterbalance and hand pallet trucks, which were also used for order picking. Heal’s purchased a fleet from Atlet comprising two Omni DCR narrow aisle man rising pallet stacker/order pickers, a reach truck and two powered pallet transporters.
Storage in the warehouse is in two sections. The first stores home accessory and furnishing products at ground floor and mezzanine level on shelving and items are picked onto trolleys. The other half of the warehouse comprises 7,500 narrow aisle pallet locations of varying lengths and heights – to accommodate products of different shapes and size – which hold furniture items. The lift trucks operate exclusively in the narrow aisle racking and loading bay areas of the warehouse.
The Atlet Omni DCR trucks operate in the narrow aisle racking to pick palletised furniture loads. The truck is designed to provide users with a combination of pallet handling and order picking capabilities for total flexibility. The operator rises with the forks and load which means they can pick full pallets or single items from any storage location. The forks can traverse and rotate through 180 degrees quickly so that pallets can be placed and retrieved on both sides of the aisle without turning the truck round.
After the warehouse opened, Heal’s decided to add to its fleet by renting an Atlet man rising order picker to help it pick more single items from any storage location. This will provide additional picking capacity and allow greater flexibility as the warehouse enters its busiest period during the autumn.