English boiled sweet maker Tilley’s has increased storage capacity by almost 30 per cent at its Kettering warehouse after switching to Flexi VNA articulated trucks.
The company, which is part of Zed Candy, has been making traditional confectionary since 1885, but due to growing demand needed more storage space. However, as its warehouse unit is surrounded by green belt land developing the overall size of the site wasn’t possible.
Tilley’s had previously been operating reach trucks and it wanted a system that would enable it to store more finished product but retain 100 per cent pallet accessibility at ground level for order picking. As such, drive-in and double deep storage was not an option.
A wire-guided VNA truck design was considered but after analysing it the company deemed it too costly to install.
Instead, the Tilley’s team decided the most space efficient, cost effective and productive proposition was a very narrow aisle racking system served by a fleet of Flexi VNA articulated trucks
As a result, on site storage capacity and the number of picking locations has increased by nearly 30 per cent.
Tilley’s new warehouse layout is designed around 1.6 metre wide aisles and because the Flexi VNA’s chassis is one metre wide, there is enough clearance either side for the truck to travel quickly and safely down the aisles.
John Maguire, Flexi’s sales and marketing director, said: “If there is insufficient clearance between the truck and the racking the operator has no choice but to dramatically reduce travel speed within the aisles as there is very little margin for error.
“This speed reduction is clearly counter productive to any benefits the user may have derived by being able to add extra pallet positions by cutting the aisle dimensions.”