Volvo Construction Equipment reconfigures racking
09 September 2015
Volvo Construction Equipment boosts pallet capacity at Duxford head office and customer support centre with a new racking reconfiguration from SEC Storage.
Volvo Construction Equipment needed to increase pallet capacity at its Duxford warehouse facility to cope with demand for stocked parts used for planned maintenance of Volvo machines, all carried out in house. With all smaller parts accommodated in a multi-tier picking structure, the pallet racking provides storage for bulk palletised products including service consumables, wear parts and non-stocked parts.
A product and warehouse appraisal by SEC Storage found that by keeping small parts and bulk pallets segregated a reconfiguration of the existing wide aisle system to a narrow aisle articulated could take place.
SEC worked closely with Volvo’s chosen materials handling supplier, Briggs Equipment who supplied the Translift Bendi forklifts to optimise capacity and aisle widths. Although the Bendi forklifts are able to operate in aisles as low as 1.6m wide, the Volvo pallets of up to 1.8m deep would necessitate the need for wider aisles.
Aisles of between 2.1m and 2.4m wide and the introduction of the new Bendi forklifts has provided Volvo with a 28% pallet capacity increase, taking their total storage capacity to over 1,900.
Volvo Construction Equipment was keen to utilise as much of the existing pallet racking as possible. This presented a challenge with over three different pallet racking manufacturers, one of which is from an obsolete brand. This was in addition to the warehouse having to remain operational in order to deliver the parts needs of the dealership.
As an independent distributor and directly employing its own installation teams, SEC Storage worked with Volvo to provide a solution which meant all existing materials would be used.
The existing storage systems had been optimised to suit Volvo’s varying pallet sizes including those between 0.8m to 1.6m wide and 1.2m and 1.8m deep. Therefore the main reconfiguration works were relocation to new areas and extending existing pallet racking runs. New UK manufactured racking was supplied to fulfil areas gained by the reduction of aisle sizes, resulting in a total of 3 additional runs of fully adjustable racking.
Subsequently the expenditure of the additional racking was significantly less than replacing the entire warehouse with new racking. This not only proved cost effective for Volvo Construction Equipment but environmentally efficient and supports their ISO 14001:2004 accreditation.
"We knew that the facility had the ability to increase capacity and utilising an articulated forklift was our preferred solution as it meant no significant changes to our operation,” explains John Green, parts operations manager.
"We presented SEC Storage with a challenge to increase capacity and do so in the most economically and environmentally advantageous way, while keeping the warehouse fully operational. I can only commend them and the warehouse team for 'changing a piston while the engine is running'."