Storage specialist Link 51 has completed a pallet live facility in Welwyn Garden City for the UK’s largest independent producer of complete dog foods. The installation, undertaken for Gilbertson and Page, has enabled the company to make the most of its finished goods storage – a key part of a recent refurbishment programme for the organisation that produces some 25,000 tonnes of products every year.
The recent development of the plant has reflected the strong position the company holds in its market and has seen the relocation of one of the key production areas that, in turn, has freed up space for additional storage. With the dual objective of maximising the capacity and of helping to ensure that product throughput takes full account of use-by dates, Link 51 has now installed two separate pallet live blocks.
“The largest of these can accommodate 400 pallets to a depth of some 20 pallets across a total of ten lanes at two separate beam heights,” says Chris Hopkirk of Link 51.
“Each lane features a series of rollers which slope downwards from the rear loading aisle to the picking face. Fully loaded pallets are fed into the lanes from the higher loading aisle and automatically descend to the lower front with their movement slowed by brake rollers located at key points. Each pallet thus arrives gently at the picking face allowing them to be removed for dispatch in the optimum use-by order.”
Each pallet can accommodate 65 fifteen-kilo bags, shrink-wrapped for onward delivery to the full range of Gilbertson and Page customers.
These include retail and wholesale outlets as well as a large number of kennels throughout the UK. “Importantly, Link 51’s design and installation interfaced very well with our ongoing production activities,” says Alex Dale, operations director at Gilbertson and Page. “This was important because the ongoing supply requirements of many of our customers meant production delays or interruptions are always to be avoided.
“We had experience of working with Link 51’s storage systems before and the success of that initial installation has been reflected now on the development of the pallet live facilities. We believe the installation will continue to play a key role in the success that we have enjoyed which, itself, has been behind the decision to develop the new production area,” he says.