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Max capacity for stillage warehouse

31 August 2021

HAVING SEEN year-on-year growth for four years, Eurocell wanted to focus on its distribution and supply chain by creating a more effective warehouse process.

A manufacturer, distributor and recycler of uPVC windows, doors, conservatories and roof line products, they needed to develop a reliable system to ensure they are able to serve their nationwide customer base of 400 fabricators and 200 plus own branches.

In order to achieve this, they needed to overcome a number of challenges, principally that products are stored in large stillages, with each one measuring roughly 6m x 1m in size and weighing 1.5 ton. On top of this, they pick from the narrow face of the stillage, but replenish from the wider face. 

As warehouse storage experts, Quickline was engaged to help develop a solution that met these challenges while providing the maximum storage capacity in the warehouse. Working closely with Eurocell to understand their business and the issues they faced, it became apparent that the ideal solution was mobile cantilever racking. Not only could cantilever racking meet the payload requirements, it was also able to solve the problem of picking and replenishing from different faces thanks to being on mobile bases. This delivered over 7,500 stillage locations.

Eurocell chief operating officer Mark Hemming, says: “Quickline got very close to the design, really understanding how our business operated and worked with us to provide the right solution for our business.”

Quickline provided end-to-end management of the project, including overseeing all civil works. To ensure the mobile racks operated efficiently, the floor was measured before and after pouring of concrete so that the rail was installed on a flat surface to allow the mobile bases to operate fully.

The solution provided by Quickline was supplied with safety features, such as a detector to stop the system if an operator encroached on the base, and a pre-warning system with a flashing light and alarm which would sound prior to starting an operation. Each individual base has its own control panel, making the operation of each bay independent of others to maximise work flow and picking. Sensors were fitted to each base to automatically stop the system safely once it had reached its open and close parameters, and each control panel has its own emergency stop button. Should the wrong aisle be selected, the operator can interrupt the operation by selecting a new one which cancels the previous instruction, thus ensuring downtime is minimised.

Eurocell opted for a semi-automatic system, but it is also available as a manual system which requires the operator to manually open the bases sequentially, and with a remote control, allowing the operator to access bays through the use of a remote control.

The system has a number of innovative features such as an energy saving intelligent lighting interface which only lights up the open aisle. Night parking opens all aisles to allow air circulation throughout the whole system, and a standby mode if the system has been idle for 15 minutes.

Mark concludes: “It was really important to get the layout of the warehouse and the process flows absolutely right as this is a really big project for us so it was great to work with a partner who treated it with the same level of importance.”

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