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Millipore’s pharmaceutical filtration equipment factory in Gloucester features a new fully equipped storage and handling facility, completed by Couzens Storage Solutions. As well as replacing several storage premises scattered around the previous site with a single, purpose-built unit, Couzens provided a mix of automated carousels and conventional equipment, enabling the company to easily modify or extend the facility at any time.

Following an enquiry for a vertical carousel to Couzens’ website, Keith Couzens and co-director Peter Ramsbottom reviewed Millipore’s total storage needs and proposed a more wide-ranging and long-term solution. The new facility includes a vertical carousel and Modula Lift system alongside conventional pallet racking, shelving, archive storage, bins and workbenches.

If demands change or business increases it will be a simple matter to either re-arrange or replace some racking or shelving with additional high density storage carousels, or to install a mezzanine floor which could add some 40% more space.

Shaun Vizor, from Millipore, says: “Couzens helped us to the see the opportunity of a blank canvas to make radical changes to our storage methods. The new facility opened in Autumn 2003 and with continued support from Couzens it is starting to settle down, and we can begin to see the benefits. We have everything under one roof, all quickly accessible, and our stock control and security have greatly improved.”

A high density storage vertical carousel is at the heart of the new facility which provides 153sq m of storage on a footprint of just 8.8sq m. Seventy-two storage levels, each measuring 3.55mm x 0.6m, provide some 6,000 lines comprising a diverse range of small parts including washers, nuts, bolts, screws and plastic components. Parts are called up from a PC-based picking list and one of 30 lights along the picking face indicates the correct pick position, saving time and reducing the risk of error.

The Intertex Euromat carousel, supplied by Couzens, uses twin motor drives which ensure that the lifting and rotating mechanism continues to operate and stop in the correct position, even when the unit is unevenly loaded, which is not the case with single drives. In addition the carousel will continue to function even if one drive unit fails.

For heavier components Couzens recommended a Modular Lift System which uses an internal lifting platform to access trays and drive them to the picking face. The unit supplied to Millipore has a capacity of 60 tonnes, although it is expected to hold around 20 tonnes, comprising 500kg on each of 40 trays measuring 2.5m x 0.8m. Photo-electric cells are used to select the most suitable locations automatically for maximum storage and efficiency.

The Modula has an ergonomically positioned external access point and presents items selected within the 3m x 3.3m footprint for mechanical lifting of product if required. Stock is managed and selected using a touch screen computer, providing complete control and security for valuable stock items.

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