An Aisle-Master articulated forklift has enabled Vado, a leading bathroom brassware manufacturer, to double the amount of available storage capacity in its warehouse at its UK HQ and distribution centre in Cheddar, Somerset. The increased pallet density has also resulted in substantial savings on the costs of external storage previously incurred with a 3pl provider.
Vado supplies high quality taps, showers, accessories and fittings to a global customer base ranging from luxury hotel chains to contractors, and due to impressive year on year growth the company recently acquired extra warehousing capacity on its site. Operations Manager Gordon Williams was naturally keen to exploit the full potential of the 45,000 ft sq facility, and was advised to look at Aisle-Master’s range by materials handling specialists Barloworld.
By going for the articulated system Vado has been able to install racking to accommodate 1,200 pallet spaces, whereas the wider aisles needed for counterbalance operation would have yielded just 580 spaces. Gordon explains his choice of an Aisle-Master over other brands: “When I visited the factory I was very impressed with the manufacturing process and exacting quality control, which give a customer peace of mind as to the durability of the trucks. As they are also made from start to finish in Monaghan, Aisle-Master was able to supply the truck in Vado’s corporate colours, which was an added bonus.”
The pallets now stored in the new premises were previously housed off site, so Vado was not only dealing with the inconvenience of having stock located 15 miles from its main base but also racking up hefty storage and lifting charges per pallet. With an average yearly outlay of £18,500 for this service, payback on the cost of the Aisle-Master will be achieved in less than two years. “As the Aisle-Masters have a track record of long life and reliable operation, this has been an excellent investment,” says Gordon.
Vado chose a 20SE AC electric Aisle-Master model, which will work mainly inside in aisle-widths of 2m and lift to 5.5m. As the trucks are equipped with super elastic tyres they can also be used to load and offload HGV’s in the yard. The advantages of AC technology (incorporated as standard in all electric Aisle-Masters) include smoother operation of controls, brush free motors for less wear and tear of components and lower maintenance as well as more efficient battery charging. Service and maintenance will be carried out by Barloworld service engineers, who have been factory trained by Aisle-Master and know the trucks inside out – so further peace of mind for Gordon and his team can be assured.
The AC electric or LPG powered Aisle-Master range can work in aisles of just 1.75m, with capacities of up to 2.5 tonnes and lift heights of up to 12.5 metres. Aisle-Master also offers a warehouse planning service, free of charge. Customers can either supply a layout of their premises, or Aisle-Master personnel will visit to undertake a site survey. On the basis of this, design engineers supply layout proposals and storage density calculations, illustrating the optimum use of space.
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