Corporate clothing retailer Dimensions Clothing brought in CI Logistics to install a Quodeck garment hanging, racking and shelving system at its new 275,000 sq ft distribution centre in Long Eaton, Nottingham.
The site, which now has the capacity to store some five million garments, enables the retailer to dispatch more than 350,000 garments a week.
Previously, Dimensions had been running two distribution centres; one in Long Eaton and another in the north of England. It was a combination of group consolidation and the purchase of an additional company that prompted Dimensions to expand its Long Eaton facilities.
To cope with the additional storage demand in Long Eaton, extra warehouses were acquired next door to existing facilities, and new storage systems were needed in three of them.
Now, the total site consists of four warehouses totalling 275,000 sq ft, plus 125,000 sq ft of mezzanine flooring.
Two of the warehouses (E and F) are receipt, quality control and bulk storage facilities and the other two (B and C) contain pick, pack and dispatch operations.
As garments arrive at the goods-in area of warehouse B they are unloaded from lorries using a telescopic boom, and then transported into the hanging storage area by Quodeck’s Slictrac elevator – a powered overhead rail method of taking garments to an upper floor, designed to reduce handling. The clothing is then moved into bulk storage by a manual Slictrac overhead rail system.
On the ground floor of this warehouse CI Logistics installed a long-span pick face shelving system with open steel mesh shelves and dividers for cartons. The long-span shelving supports the upper floor which stores some 200,000 garments, which are stored three levels high in a Quodeck Hook-In garment structure.
CI Logistics also erected a mezzanine floor, fire-enclosed staircases and suspended ceilings in warehouse B and supplied collapsible stillages and packing benches.
The challenge in bulk storage warehouse E was to convert existing pallet racking from three different suppliers into a two-tier rack-supported shelving system with integral walkways.
The pallet racking had uprights of three different beam pitches, which made the upper floor level tricky to support. The result was that three different depths of floor girders were used to support the top tier.
There are two large blocks of shelving joined by a mezzanine floor, which is at the same height as the upper floor walkways.
In warehouse E there are now 70,848 carton positions and each carton contains around 30 garments; a storage provision for over two million garments.
To use the height of warehouse F and increase the density of hanging garments stored, CI Logistics designed a 6m-high system for the long-term bulk storage of hanging garments. To access the items of clothing the operators use a scissor lift.
Steve Cassapi logistics director, Dimensions, says: “CI Logistics had to work to a very tight time schedule which meant that they were constructing our new garment storage systems into busy working environments. To enable them to do their job there had to be internal working to free up space and racking; this meant that the success of the operation was dependent on a strong working partnership.”