Yale and Forkway, working with exclusive UK dealer Briggs, have delivered a materials handling fleet with 30 per cent reduction in energy consumption and savings of over 300 tonnes of carbon over contract term.

The largest UK radiator and boiler manufacturer, Ideal Stelrad Group (ISG), has taken delivery of a new materials handling fleet and service package from Yale distributor Forkway Group for its national distribution centre and radiator manufacturing facility in Mexborough, Rotherham.

Operating a 150,000 square foot distribution hub with 30,000 pallet spaces in 10.5 metre high racking, the company looked to Forkway to provide a full materials handling package. The fleet includes equipment that incorporates the latest advances in equipment productivity and ergonomics and provides operators with  a range of comfortable and reliable equipment to enable them to off-load 20 deliveries and execute more than 12,800 picks per day.

The fleet includes 18 Yale MP20X pallet trucks that have been equipped with longer forks and repositioned load wheels to efficiently handle the 300 different pallet sizes and configurations housed in the distribution centre and to minimise damage to pallets and loads during picking and transportation.

The Yale MP20X pallet trucks feature ergonomic tiller heads with angled grips and low effort controls for maximum operator comfort. A low mounted tiller arm minimises steering effort and enhances the operating experience, dual lift and lower controls allow left or right hand operation.

The pallet trucks are used throughout the distribution centre’s 24 hour shift period five days a week, and are operated alongside a number of reach trucks and counterbalance forklift trucks. Lifting up to 1.4 tonnes, the pallet trucks have also been fitted with HD cameras and monitors for precise and safe handling.

Sara Elliot, Ideal Stelrad Group’s warehouse and distribution centre manager, says the decision to upgrade the fleet was based on the company’s commitment to supporting its workforce and customers by offering the most productive materials handling solution possible.

She explains: “It is vital that our customers receive their goods on time so a productive and reliable fleet is essential to ensure items are picked and despatched as quickly and effectively as possible.

“Forkway carried out a detailed logistics study to identify the materials handling requirement and we worked closely together to ensure every piece of equipment was specified correctly and to the best possible configuration. They also ensured a seamless transition to the new fleet and carried out employee training where necessary.”

Forkway also specified a battery charging station that has resulted in 30 per cent reduction in energy consumption and savings of over 300 tonnes of carbon over the contract term. Forkway’s regional director Gary Hawkhead explains: “A charging system has been installed which pumps air into the battery reducing the need for cooling and drastically cuts recharging times. The new system also requires less maintenance and we have increased the spare battery capacity by 50 per cent on the same footprint. Furthermore, a battery transfer unit has reduced the need for manual handling and makes battery changing even more time efficient.”

Also on site is the Group’s radiator manufacturing facility which utilises a range of materials handling equipment from Forkway. Gary adds: “We specified a Yale GLP18VX to lift the radiator fins on to the production line ready for the automated process and three Yale MP20XV to take finished products off the packaging machine and place them ready for despatch to the distribution centre for holding until delivery is required.

“In another area of the manufacturing plant that makes components such as wall mounting brackets, connections and fittings, a Yale MP20 works round the clock. A key reason for choosing this equipment was the truck’s outstanding manoeuvrability in tight spaces; which was perfect for this manufacturing environment.”

The materials handling fleet also includes five LPG counterbalance tucks, six high lift heavy duty reach trucks and two Yale MP22 pallet trucks with pneumatic suction devices to change batteries between the trucks and the battery charging station.

A Forkway engineer is based on site to ensure the fleet is maintained and serviced effectively, prolonging the life of the fleet and ensuring downtime is kept to a minimum.

Sara concludes: “The investment in the latest materials handling technology has ensured our needs are met and will continue to be met in the future. Our Forkway engineer has integrated into our business well and we look forward to a long and successful relationship with Forkway for many years to come.”



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