It’s a case of doubles all round for Rotherham based furniture manufacturer Addspace: The company has doubled in size since it was established four years ago, and it has created 50% more storage space in its warehouse by replacing counterbalance trucks with 3 Aisle-Master articulated forklifts. Addspace supplies the retail, catalogue and mail order sectors with a range of self assembly furniture suitable for bedrooms, living rooms and home offices, and is one of the leading UK suppliers in its field. “We provide a quality product as well as excellent service” says MD Paul Grainger, “and this has enabled us to achieve significant growth year on year, in spite of the amount of imported products coming onto the market.”
One byproduct of increased orders was the need to stock more material, which in turn led to the requirement for more storage space. Not wanting to buy extra warehousing capacity nor move from its current premises, Addspace consulted local materials handling specialists Ability Handling for advice on how to maximise storage capacity in the 87.500ft_ facility, which is split between 35% production and 65% storage. Ability recommended the Aisle-Master articulated forklifts, which are capable of working in much narrower aisles than counterbalance or reach trucks, and a demo on site was instant proof of the trucks’ space saving capabilities.
3 electric powered Aisle-Masters now work in the finished good warehouse, and the 5m high racking in this section has been reconfigured, with aisle widths now of only 2m compared with the 3.7m needed with the old system. This has enabled 3 extra sets of racking to be installed to accommodate standard euro pallets as well as larger pallets for packs of longer units.
“Ability Handling’s advice was spot on,” says Paul. “They identified the perfect machine and therefore a cost effective solution for our requirements, and delivery was very quick, enabling us to get on with the job and to cope with varying seasonal demands.” The trucks work a double shift operation, and the drivers like the trucks, find them easy to drive and prefer them to the counterbalance trucks. As there is no need to turn around or strain to see the load, visibility is much improved and work in the aisles is safer.
The Aisle-Master range can work in aisles of just 1.75m, with capacities up to 2.5 tonnes and lift heights of up to 12.5 metres. LPG powered models are also available, all fitted with 3-way catalytic converters as standard, with CNG power also an option. Manufacturing standards at Aisle-Master are stringent, with build quality and safety featuring uppermost on the company’s agenda. All the fundamental aspects of the Aisle-Master’s design, from the overhead guard for enhanced driver protection, the ergonomics of the controls, down to the high quality seating, guarantee the highest level of operator safety and comfort.