KP Snacks is one of the longest established and most successful snack producers in the UK. The company, which has been part of the Intersnack Group since January 2013, manufactures and distributors such iconic snack brands as McCoy’s, Phileas Fogg, Hula Hoops, Pom-Bear and KP Nuts and employs some 8,000 staff at 30 locations throughout the UK and Europe.

Due to the consistently high demand for products, the company recently undertook a major upgrade of the intralogistics processes at its Ashby-de-la-Zouche warehouse that has resulted in a significant increase in the store’s pallet volume.

Quite simply, the warehouse, which is located on the same site as a major KP production facility, no longer offered the capacity required to handle the growing flow of stock that left the adjacent factory.

A number of options – including a move to a bigger unit – were considered before KP settled on a solution designed and delivered by Flexi Warehouse Systems, the Systems Division of Narrow Aisle Ltd.

The original layout featured standard pallet racking, which was worked by a combination of traditional counterbalanced forklifts and reach trucks. However, this model was no longer space efficient and didn’t allow KP to achieve the throughput speeds it was looking for.

Flexi recommended narrowing the aisles of the warehouse’s storage cube and replacing the pallet racking with an integrated two-deep storage system served by a fleet of Flexi StorMAX truck units.

Controlled by a specially developed warehouse management system to optimise First in Last out (FILO) and maximise pallet storage efficiency.

The Flexi StorMAX solution allows 50 per cent more pallet locations to be achieved when designing a storage system with the same dimensions as a system served by conventional reach trucks. At the same time the number of pallet movements per truck increased by 15%, a real boost in efficiency.

In simple terms, the Flexi StorMAX technology and two-deep system supplied at KP’s Ashby-de-la- Zouche site, allows KP to handle two pallets from the same side of each very narrow aisle – which effectively doubles the capacity of each run of racking within the store.

Controlled by KP’s warehouse management system, pallets are putaway and retrieved by the StorMAX’s pallet forks that have been designed to be able to place pallets twice as deep within the racking as a traditional reach truck’s forks.

In addition to supplying the ‘hardware’ incorporated in the revamped store, Flexi advised on how to adapt KP’s WMS software to optimise every pallet of product entering the warehouse so it can be tracked, located and picked in the most efficient ‘FILO” sequence.