APC Storage Solutions SA Cuts Cold Storage Costs

APC Storage Solutions SA recently maximised the storage capacity and reduced notoriously high cold storage costs for Just Veggies in Vryheid with its Movirack® mobile racking solution. Just Veggies is responsible for storing vegetables from various farms in the region, and is fast becoming South Africa’s largest producer and processor of organic vegetables to the local and international market. It was APC Storage Solutions SA’s experience in cold storage, having recently completed another successful turnkey cold storage installation in Cape Town, which won the company this contract.

Cold storage by nature is very expensive. It is not only costly to operate constant air-conditioning, but the actual building of the freezer is complex, due to the special flooring, walling and overall insulation that is required. It was therefore important for APC Storage Solutions SA’s consulting engineers to design a system that would allow the most vegetables to be stored in the least amount of space possible.

After careful design-engineering and planning with ECA Consulting and Just Veggies, APC Storage Solutions SA provided its Mecalux Movirack® mobile racking system for the client’s new storage freezer that requires a constant temperature of -25°C.

With Movirack®, the mobile racking units are installed over guided mobile bases that slide laterally, opening via remote or wall-mounted control only when access is required, eliminating the need for multiple aisles while allowing easy access to all pallets at all times.

“Movirack® is ideal for cutting cold storage costs.  With its mobile construction, we were able maximise the storage capacity by about 50% of the total area because there is no wasted aisle space,” says Shawn Gray, Senior Consultant, APC Storage Solutions SA.

The installation consists of nine rows (two static and seven mobile) at 7.5 m high, and with Movirack®’s innovative mobile bases, only one access aisle, 4.8 metres wide, is required. This allows the client to store more than 1 000 pallets in the current space in phase one, equalling to two pallets per square metre.

“The challenge we faced in this project was that our team had to install the system in -25°C temperatures because the fridge had to be turned on three weeks before our completion date in order to reach its optimal temperature. This was done so that as soon as the installation was complete, client could start storing stock,” says Gray. “To overcome this, we had various teams each working in 30 minute intervals, due to the  -25°C temperature and were able to complete this project in only 10 weeks from the initial date despite these harsh conditions.”

APC Storage Solutions SA completed this installation in early March this year and is currently working on implementing its Easy Mecalux Warehouse Management System with Just Veggies. Easy WMS is warehouse management system software that provides movement and storage control of goods in a warehouse.

 “As part of the future service and maintenance agreement with Just Veggies, we will carry out monthly inspections of the racking system, including all bases, motors, PLCs and safety barriers, to ensure optimum operability and safety standards are maintained. These site visits will also deal with training and other operational concerns.” concludes Gray.

APC Storage Solutions SA, though its dedicated material handing division, IHS Forklifts, offers a range of warehouse forklifts to handle any application and includes extensive service plans and workmanship guarantees.