In order to streamline and expand its facility Alphason Designs, the manufacturer of furniture specifically designed for in-home audio-visual entertainment equipment, consolidated its warehouse and manufacturing operations into one enlarged facility in Wigan. To achieve a seamless transition on the storage side they turned to LINPAC Storage Systems to move existing equipment from a nearby site and to provide additional racking to cope with the increased stock levels in the new facility.
Prior to the consolidation, we had four sites around Wigan including a 30,000 sq.ft. warehouse over the road from our head office, explains Paul Bewick, Divisional Quality Control Manager for Armourhome, Alphasons parent company. As part of the consolidation plans we wanted to increase the storage capacity to 8,500 pallet spaces in order to deal with the increasing stock and distribution demands of the business. The expansion of the head office warehouse space to 70,000 sq.ft. was the logical solution, although it did pose some interesting challenges for LINPAC.
The improvements included moving some existing adjustable pallet racking (APR) from our old site to the new warehouse and installing it with some new APR we ordered from LINPAC. The challenge came from the demands of our insurance company who insisted on an in-rack sprinkler system in the less dense APR bays.
As a consequence we have installed two sprinkler systems an Early Suppression Fast Response (ESFR) system in the dense bulk section and an in-rack system in the other area. With the in-rack system, the higher the racking, the more levels of in-rack sprinkler you need. The building can accommodate six high bays of APR, but that would have required three levels of in-rack sprinklers in each run of racking and this would have added 10,000 to the cost of the installation. The decision was taken, therefore, to install five high APR which requires only two levels of in-rack sprinklers per run of racking. This leaves us with the potential to add a further level on top if expansion needs demand in the future.
The new facility now has a mix of APR and drive-in racking, which together provide 8,500 pallet positions and some 69 drive-in bays with 25 pallets per bay. Despite the challenges the sprinkler system threw up, the move was completed on time and in budget.
Bewick concludes, We were very impressed with the way LINPAC tackled the warehouse move and expansion project. They made absolutely certain we would get the best solution that would not only deliver us the storage capacity we needed on budget, but also provide us with a safe and efficient warehouse for our team to work in every day.