Chemicals giant BASF has extended the use of very narrow aisle equipment at its Bradford warehouse which is responsible for more than 25,000 pallet movements every week.
Seven Yale MTC series VNA trucks operate using a computerised order picking system. The racking is 13 metres high and the aisles are 1.65 metres wide.
BASF logistics manager at the site Craig McAllister says: “The chemicals and materials that are stored in the warehouse are required 365 days a year as the site must run continuously. Any breaks in supply can be very costly and cause the entire operation to shut down. Our first consideration when replacing the VNA fleet was therefore reliability.
“Another important consideration was the ease of use and comfort for the operators. With a 24 hour shift pattern, split over four shifts, operating trucks in a quiet warehouse in the middle of the night can be very solitary and we needed to maintain optimum efficiency and keep operators focused and alert.”
BASF’s Bradford warehouse
The warehouse is used for raw materials and finished products. Each 80V MTC15 can handle industrial bulk containers or pallets up to 1,500kg transporting them from the racking to marshalling areas at the end of every aisle ready for loading and unloading by electric counterbalance forklift trucks.
The trucks were supplied by Yale dealer Forkway, working alongside Briggs Equipment. Forkway operations director Tim Hunter says: “The solution we provided was based on the best trucks for the specification of the existing warehouse. We identified that the MTC series would offer low cost of ownership, dependability and productivity, combined with operator comfort.
Forkway also re-specified the loops used for the wire guidance of the VNA trucks. “Previously, the wire laid in the warehouse floor was one continuous loop. This meant that all four trucks could be out of operation if a problem occurred. Now, we have laid eight separate loops allowing the isolation of a specific area of the warehouse should a problem ever occur, leaving the remaining areas unaffected and operating as normal,” says Hunter.