Cold comfort for logistics firm
12 December 2012
Space saving at a cold facility results in particuarly welcome savings in space and money.The versatility shown by the Aisle-Masters provided an added bonus Ireland's largest independent temperature control and logisti
Ireland's largest independent temperature control and logistics company, Castlecool, has seen a marked increase in available storage space at its Castleblayney facility since it took delivery of an Aisle-Master articulated forklift.
The company previously used reach trucks to service the racking in the 200,000 sq ft warehouse in Castleblayney, but a changeover to the articulated system has enabled aisle widths to be cut, adding 25% to Castlecool's storage capacity.
"The costs incurred per sq ft in cold stores make space saving absolutely crucial to productive operations," says md Paul Shortt.
"We had experience of an Aisle-Master at another site we were keen to adopt this system at the Castleblayney facility. It was some time ago since we acquired the original machine so we trialled the major brands of articulated trucks on the market, but found that the Aisle- Master still outperforms the competition, particularly in terms of reliability." Before the truck was delivered, Paul took advantage of Aisle-Master's free site survey and says warehouse layout service which was particularly beneficial.
"The engineers' drawings demonstrated that we would be able to operate in 30% narrower aisles and therefore achieve the best possible pallet density." A further benefit is the truck's flexibility to work both inside and out, which has led to much quicker loading and offloading, speeding up operations all round. The ability to offload HGVs from both sides is a real bonus when the company is working at full capacity, in the run up to Christmas for example.
The lack of any need for back up has also enabled Castlecool to make substantial savings, as Paul explains: "The Aisle-Masters have such a good track record of dependability that we can operate in full confidence without back up trucks in place.
If there is an issue - which is rare, the response from the service department is so quick that this can be resolved with the minimum of delay." The cold-store environment can be unforgiving on equipment, quickly draining batteries for example, but the batteries fitted in Castlecool's Aisle-Master are more than powerful enough to counteract this, and other cold-store specific features have been incorporated to ensure streamlined operation throughout long shifts in temperatures of around - 22Â°C (coldstore spec Aisle-Masters will work in temperatures of up to - 40Â°C).