SpeedCell, from Apex Linvar, is revolutionising how warehousing and storage facilities function in the UK.

No longer do warehouse operators have to manage areas with under-utilised, or even dead, space. And no longer do owners have to think about costly refurbishments, new-build programmes or renting additional warehouse space just because their facilities are deemed as “up to capacity.”

Apex Linvar, the UK’s leading handling and storage solutions provider, has introduced SpeedCell to a market that constantly demands new and innovative ideas and products.

Specifically designed with the aim of turning dead space into cost-effective and highly efficient hand picking areas in the warehouse, SpeedCell means that under-utilised space can now be considered as a thing of the past.

Since recently being introduced at major trade shows and receiving great industry reviews, a major high street fashion retailer has already become the first to install SpeedCell at one of its UK distribution centres.

Put simply, SpeedCell is a flexible dynamic storage system that can be installed into new or existing traditional racking systems. For the first time customers are being given the ability to create high-density storage areas in spaces that were previously not even thought of as useful.

SpeedCell is a vertical shelving accessory that consists of a collection of highly durable, flame and water-retardant textile columns.

Every one of the columns, which are suspended from an innovative track system mounted to the pallet support bars above, contains customised or standard-sized shelves, creating compartments, or cells.

The columns can be up to five rows deep, with those at the front sliding aside with ease on the track system to reveal the columns behind. It’s simple to install. and even more simple to use.

The anti-static textiles used in creating SpeedCell are soft but strong, reshape easily and are environmentally friendly – making them ideal for this purpose, particularly as they won’t rust or decay and therefore shouldn’t incur additional replacement or maintenance costs.

And as SpeedCell works inside the ground floor of pallet racking, it therefore provides a large number of easily accessible storage locations that fill the entire volume of each bay.

Anthony Finlayson-Green, CEO of Apex Linvar, says that SpeedCell represents exactly what he wants Apex Linvar to be known for.

The Milton Keynes-based company, now owned by the Chamonix Private Equity LLP, is well known as the UK’s leading manufacturer and supplier of racking and shelving systems.

Anthony says: “Our company and our people have got a fantastic reputation for providing solutions that fulfil what our customers demand from us.

We’re not just about manufacturing great products; we’re also about working with customers and offering them the right solution to make sure that what they do is done as efficiently and effectively as possible.

“We’ve added SpeedCell to our portfolio of products because we know that it can save considerable time, money and space for our customers. Our experience tells us that it will benefit their operations, whether that’s a major distribution centre or a small storage facility.

“SpeedCell can also be utilised across many different sectors. If customers have small items that need to be picked and processed quickly, then SpeedCell is for them whether they are in, for example, the retail sector or the automotive business.

“There’s a real buzz about the product, and the hands-on demonstration bays we have been taking to the trade shows have really caught the imagination of visitors. They can see that we are the only company to offer a simple and easy-to-use solution that will meet their needs.”

In terms of actual storage capability, the impressive figures speak for themselves. The vertical shelving columns can support loads of up to 100kgs each, meaning a bay can store up to 2,000kgs.

From a customer’s point of view, this means that they can typically store between 60 and 70 per cent more products in a space.

Not only this, because pickers can easily move the sliding columns that house hundreds of products, they won’t have to travel long distances within the warehouse environment to get to different pick locations.

Each cell is available with its own barcode holder, positioned as per customer requirement, so pickers will know the exact location of individual items within the system and picking errors should be reduced.

It was this potential for efficiency and maximising space that attracted a high street fashion retailer to become the first in the UK to harness the potential of SpeedCell.

After being called in to look at how to best store smaller items while still getting the best out of the existing space, Apex Linvar assessed the exact requirements of the customer. It was soon clear that SpeedCell was an obvious choice, and it has now been installed into 25 bays within an entire aisle at the hi-tech distribution centre.

Small fashion items and accessories will be stored within the cells, freeing up pallet racking space elsewhere in the facility and speeding up the picking process. This retailer’s supply chain just became even more space efficient with the addition of SpeedCell.

There are plans for the system to be rolled out across more distribution centres, which raises another important point about SpeedCell. With the simple “add on” of SpeedCell, those planning the internal layouts of warehouses no longer have to plan for dead space; they can plan instead for high-density, cost-effective storage areas.

As in the case of the first UK installation of SpeedCell, there is no need to incur the costs and upheaval of building extra space in new facilities or installing mezzanine floors or the whole impact on working that is often associated with even minor construction projects.

One key aspect of SpeedCell is that it can be customised to meet a specific customer’s requirements, with no two installations ever being the same. Professional, experienced and knowledgeable Apex Linvar staff will visit customers to assess their needs and examine how SpeedCell can best be used to benefit them.

Being constructed from modern technical textiles, SpeedCell can be tailored to the exact needs of the customer, who can choose from a wide range of streamlined options to help optimise storing specific products.

In fact, one of the key principles of SpeedCell is that almost any configuration is possible, allowing facility managers to specify what they need – limitations only come with the depth, width and height of existing storage spaces.

The flexibility of the SpeedCell system is also highlighted by its adaptability across various applications. SpeedCell operates at temperatures between -35 and 90 degrees Celsius. The humidity and mould resistance capability of the fabric allows it to be used to store products in cold chillers and freezers through to warmer conditions.

And yet another advantage of the SpeedCell system is that when installation is complete, the warehousing and storage environment not only works more efficiently but is so much tidier.

This will present a better image should third-party visitors, such as clients, walk the floors as they often do, particularly in 3PL sites, to inspect how their products are stored and picked. If pitching for new business opportunities, it could even help to win key contracts.

Anthony Finlayson-Green comments further: “Innovation is the key to success in the warehousing and logistics sector and there is no doubting that because SpeedCell challenges the traditional idea of shelving, it has the capability to revolutionise the way storage facilities are planned and warehouses are run.

“We have our demonstration bays available for people to come and have a look for themselves how it would benefit them and their business and how it simply makes business sense.”

SpeedCell has been most popular with the 4 Fs: fashion, food, footwear and pharmaceuticals, but any company looking to maximise their storage density will obviously benefit greatly.

For more information about SpeedCell, call 01908 561222.

Apex Linvar

Tel: 01908 561222

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