Home Decor GB Ltd, one of the leading suppliers of floor-to-ceiling sliding doors and associated storage systems in Europe, recently moved to a new purpose-built HQ not far from its original premises in Sheffield. The 110,000 ft² manufacturing, warehousing and office facility is 10% larger than the previous site, but due to expanding demand for its products, best use of space was a priority.
“Although we now have much needed extra space, we still need to ensure that we can accommodate increasing volumes of materials,” says Customer Support and Logistics Manager Jim Barras, who oversaw the commissioning and implementation of the new equipment and vehicles on site. “Following our research and advice from Richard Greaves of Forkway we went for a mix of racking types together with two electric powered Combilifts – a C4000E 4t and a 2.5t Combi-CBE. This gives us the best level of flexibility for our handling requirements across the factory floor and outside.”
Standard sized packs of roll formed and extruded aluminium rails (stiles) and pallets are stored in narrow guided aisles, whilst a bay of adjacent cantilever racking is ideal for the longer non-standard 2m, 3m and 5m packs. The new style C4000E works predominantly in the racking and is fitted with guide rollers to enable quick and easy access to the guided aisles. The larger than standard battery makes light work of placing and picking loads at the top beam height of 9m. This additional 4m of height compared to the old system and the convenience to lay awkward loads across the cantilever racking means that capacity has been increased by at least 800 pallets.
The compact counterbalance CB is especially suited for offloading from incoming containers and moving pallets of interior fittings and fixtures and other loads around the manufacturing area. “Without its multi-directional capability and ability to turn on its own axis we would need to set aside large areas of unproductive space just for manoeuvring,” says Jim. “The differing sizes of products we deal with would also be a nightmare to handle with a less versatile truck but the hydraulic fork positioners, operated from within the cab, enable quick adjustment to fit the loads.”
In all, three Combilifts are in operation at Home Decor as an older C4000 made the move to the new facility. “The fact that we had used a Combilift before meant that we were aware of its capabilities,” says Jim, “but we did a thorough evaluation of different types of trucks from a wide range of manufacturers before we once again decided that Combilift offered the best solutions for our requirements. The trucks have been part of a major investment of around £1m in machinery for our new facility and as with all quality pieces of equipment they are proving to be cost-effective assets.”