A significant growth and investment programme at Rolls-Royce plc meant they would lose a high number of pallet storage positions to facilitate the installation of a new large casting furnace. Thanks to a unique mezzanine floor solution from SEC Storage, Rolls-Royce have been able to increase storage capacity by 75% and have the new furnace installed to cope with growing demand.


The new casting furnace was installed within the foundry of the civil aerospace division at Rolls-Royce’s £75 million factory in Filton, Bristol. This required Rolls-Royce to locate the furnace where existing racking was used to store furnace consumables and critical spares.

Although it would have been a simple process to relocate their existing storage system elsewhere onsite it was soon realised that this would have a hugely negative operational impact, as the stored materials are required on a frequent basis. When faced with the prospect of additional transportation and environmental costs, Rolls-Royce’s preferred solution was one that would enable the new furnace to be installed and keep the storage at point of use.

It was decided that a mezzanine floor could be used to utilise the height of the building. The only position for the mezzanine floor would be over an existing small parts internal store building. This in itself would not be a problem however it presented issues of accessing the mezzanine floor. It could only be loaded by forklift from one side, which would only provide racking one pallet deep.

SEC Storage were asked to provide a mezzanine floor solution for the current racking to be placed upon. After a site visit and a review of the requirements, it was suggested that by using dynamic push-back racking on the floor Rolls-Royce could realise a 75% increase in storage capacity. This meant pallets would be stored five deep, instead of one, whilst still being loaded from one side of the mezzanine.

The push-back racking system on a Last In First Out (LIFO) principle was particularly suited to the non-perishable and small SKU profile of Rolls-Royce’s consumables and equipment spares. With three lanes of push back racking utilising zinc plated rollers, Rolls-Royce are able to store five pallets per lane on the “ground” level. A further roller lane was specified for the first beam level of racking, in addition to a number of static pallet positions for the storage of uncommon spares. For safety each lane has One-Way Direct Brake Rollers to slow each 1000kg pallet as it reaches the face of the racking coupled with rack mounted front and rear end stops.

“SEC Storage provided an excellent service at all stages of the project. They demonstrated that they fully understood the requirements and helped to develop the best solution” commented David Evans, Manufacturing Engineer at Rolls-Royce plc in Filton. “The installation team were very professional and ensured work was carried out safely with minimum fuss”.

The installation, which was completed in three days without affecting Rolls-Royce’s day to day operation, includes allowances to expand the mezzanine at a later date, adding a further four lanes of push back racking increasing capacity by 100%.

Although none of Rolls-Royce’s existing storage systems could be utilised, the small investment in the new mezzanine floor and racking system would see overall cost savings when compared with the operational implications, environmental impact and control issues of locating their storage elsewhere onsite.

The Storage Equipment Centre Ltd

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