International logistics specialist Delamode has upgraded its warehouse at Braintree by converting it to double deep racking, enabling it to storemore pallets in the same space while implementing new value-added services for its increasingly varied customer base.
“Double deep makes good use of the space and allows us to use other areas of the warehouse for new services that formpart of our total international logistics capability,” saysmanaging director ShaunGodfrey.
Delamode built its current warehouse in Braintree in 2006.Maximising storage potentialwas a priority and the company originally specified very narrow aisle racking served by specialist warehouse trucks. However, it became apparent that Delamode would need to look at newways ofmaximising utilisation.
“This was our first distribution warehouse and we were inexperienced and not fully aware of all of the alternatives,” says Godfrey. “VNA seemed like the right choice at the time but from the start it was clear that it was slowand cumbersome for our type of operation.”
An encounter with an Atlet representative at a business networking event led Godfrey to discover more about the potential benefits of double deep racking. The potential benefits were also endorsed by an independent consultant engineer.
Delamode decided to configure the second phase of its warehouse development to double deep and later to reverse engineer most of the original racking as well. Overall capacity in the warehouse will have been increased by 1,000 pallets from 9,000 to 10,000 by January 2009. The changes have also allowedDelamode to install a 20,000 sq ft mezzanine at the front of the
warehouse that will offer a new pick and pack facility to customers in the same time frame. The area beneath will continue to be used for order assembly and dispatch operations.
Double deep is designed to maximise pallet storage space through the installation of two rows of racking down each side of the aisle. The rear pallet locations are accessed using reach trucks equipped with forks that extend into the racking to place and retrieve the load. Overall, storage density increases because there are in effect twice as many rows of racking as there are aisles. In conventional warehouses the ratio is one-to-one and proportionatelymore floor space is occupied by aisles.
The switch to double deep meant new lift trucks were required. Delamode chose three Forte UHST reach trucks, two configured to handle full pallets to the maximum height of 11m in the warehouse and one configured for 9moperations.
Atlet provided advice on the reconfiguration of the warehouse and worked with Delamode to manage the transformation, which included some repositioning of existing racking and installation of newequipment.