Bespoke storage system and mezzanine floors help Dalepak rise to the challenge
Established in 1991, Dalepak is a leading warehousing, order fulfillment, distribution and contract packing specialist.
The company operates multiple sites in and around Northampton with a combined footprint of more than 300,000 square feet but, with demand for its range of services growing, additional storage space was required.
So, in January 2012, Dalepak acquired a new 140,000 square feet site on the ProLogis Pineham Estate in Northampton.
The new facility has 12 dock level doors and is 12.5 metres high to the eaves. It boasts a number of eco-friendly features such as a rainwater harvesting system, solar shading and skylights which allow natural light to flood in to the building.
Being a new build, the facility was, in effect, an empty shell when Dalepak took the keys which meant that one of the company’s first jobs was to design and install a storage and racking system that allows the available space to be utilized to its optimum capacity.
Dalepak approached RediRack – one of the UK’s most popular storage system suppliers – for a solution.
Having considered Dalepak’s requirements, RediRack designed and installed a bespoke pallet racking system that provides more than 21,000 pallet positions, along with two mezzanine floor structures which, in addition to offering extra storage space, allow contract packing activities to be carried out away from the hustle and bustle of the warehouse.
RediRack created a narrow aisle system comprising 30 double runs of racking with 2300mm wide aisles. Each aisle is 56m long and has an access tunnel running across the block to allow Dalepak’s fleet of Bendi articulated forklift trucks to reach the required pallet location quickly and fuel efficiently.
To protect the new racking, Dalepak asked RediRack to install sacrificial legs to every frame.
Sacrificial legs allow damaged frames to be quickly and easily changed with minimal cost and down time. Essentially, a removable section from the lower front of the pallet packing frame (the area where racking damage caused by a carelessly driven forklift is most likely to occur), the leg is designed to absorb impact and leave the rest of the frame undamaged. The legs can be replaced in as little as 20 minutes.
“We know that racking gets damaged – the key to minimizing the downtime this can cause is the ability to quickly, safely and easily replace the damaged frames. RediRack’s sacrificial leg is the perfect solution for us” says Gary White, Dalepak’s joint managing director.
RediRack also fitted high visibility end barriers and column protectors to further reduce the likelihood of forklift damage.
The racking bays within the storage cube are 2700mm wide and the system varies in height to take advantage of the building’s full internal dimensions.
The new mezzanine floor areas within the new unit were created by RediRack’s sister company, RediFloor.
Dalepak already had a single tier RediRack mezzanine floor at another of its facilities and RediFloor were able to dismantle, move and rebuild the system within the new warehouse to create an additional 460 square metres of floor space.
The area is used for contract packing. “Contract packing is a significant part of our business that, during seasonal peaks, involves hiring specialist staff,” Gary White explains. “On a mezzanine floor, these staff are able to quickly and efficiently pack high volumes in a safe, controlled working environment.”
To create further e-Commerce fulfilment space, RediFloor built a second, 468 square metre single tier mezzanine in the centre of the facility. Both mezzanines conform to the Buildings Regulations code, are fully fire protected with a one hour rating and feature pallet gates to ensure the safe loading of goods into the pick and pack area.
The new facility is now operating three shifts a day, 7 days a week, and is serving multiple clients including Molton Brown and Whittard of Chelsea.
Gary White commented: “I believe RediRack’s welded, bolt-free racking is sturdier and safer than the alternatives on the market. When we build our next facility, RediRack will install the rack and mezzanine floors. Every time RediRack manage an installation for us they use high quality, British manufactured products and the project comes in on time and on budget; I can’t ask for any more”.
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