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Manoeuvring in tight aisles

15 December 2021

WHOLESALER LWC Drinks has introduced a fleet of VNA articulated forklifts across its nationwide estate of distribution depots, including the company’s recently opened new 173,000 sq ft bonded DC in Chadderton, Oldham.

Across most of the country same-day delivery is offered seven-days-a-week from LWC’s network of 14 depots.

The Oldham site also features a dedicated area for Click N Drink, LWC’s DTC division, which it launched in 2020 when the majority of its trade customers had been forced to shut down to comply with lockdown restrictions.

The new very narrow aisle Flexi Truck articulated forklifts supplied to LWC, are the latest ‘Digital’ Flexi Truck models to be developed by Narrow Aisle. ‘Digital’ Flexis require minimal maintenance, which means that they ensure optimum ‘up time’ while the trucks’ efficient battery system allows sustained levels of performance to be achieved so that even the most demanding pallet throughput targets can be met.

Ease of operation and, therefore, pallet put-away and picking speed, is further enhanced by the trucks’ unique independent digital power-steering which makes Flexi Trucks particularly easy to manoeuvre within aisleways.

Articulated ‘over rotation’ and smooth digital steering combine to ensure that one turn of a Flexi Truck’s steering wheel is all that is required to enter or de-stack a pallet.

The drinks wholesaler has introduced a new WMS, with the data capture devices that link the materials handling equipment to the WMS mounted on the Flexi Truck’s ‘Halo Bar’.

The Flexi Trucks undertake a wide range of duties. For example, LWC’s new machines will be used both outside the Oldham unit and other sites to unload incoming curtain sided trailers and inside the store to deliver pallets directly to the pallet racking system – eliminating the need for the traditional double handling that is often required at facilities where a mix of counterbalance forklifts and reach trucks are deployed.

Because LWC is committed to running its business as sustainably as possible, energy efficiency was an important influence on the company’s MHE purchasing decision. The new ‘Digital’ Flexi Truck models provide extended shift life from a single battery that has not only cut energy consumption and brought about a considerable reduction in fleet operating costs at the new Oldham site as well as LWC’s other depot facilities, but has also delivered an upgrade in productivity efficiency due to the reduction in truck downtime required to change or charge batteries.

For more information, visit www.flexi.co.uk