The introduction of a gas-powered Aisle-Master articulated forklift is enabled Fannin Healthcare NI, an independent distributor of medical, surgical and laboratory products, to optimise storage capacity at its new 605sq m warehouse facility in Belfast.
Fannin Healthcare NI, part of DCC plc, has experienced extensive growth of its product line ranging from disposables to high-tech laboratory analysers and surgical equipment. Finding a suitable forklift for the new premises was a crucial issue for director of operations Kevin O’Connell. He explains: “We needed optimum pallet storage density, whilst retaining a high degree of flexibility. We also wanted a truck versatile enough to work both inside and out, able to load and offload quickly in the yard.”
The LPG-powered Aisle-Master has “a proven record” as a more flexible and space-saving option compared to reach or counterbalance trucks – it can work in 2m aisles. It was recommended by local materials handling supplier CMS in Mallusk.
The net benefit for Fannin is that it can now store significantly more pallets in the new warehouse. The Aisle-Master’s articulated design has enabled operating aisle widths to be reduced to just 2.2m, lifting pallets to a height of 6.6m. This represents additional storage capacity of more than 25% compared to reach trucks and up to 50% when compared counterbalance trucks.
LPG power has done away with time-consuming battery charging necessary with electric models, and a bulk tank soon to be installed from Flogas (also part of the DCC group) will make the refuelling process a matter of minutes. The Aisle-Master is fitted with a three-way catalytic converter, which ensures emissions are reduced to well below the stringent EU regulations.