APC Storage Solutions SA equips FPT for citrus export

APC Storage Solutions SA equips FPT for citrus export

APC Storage Solutions SA was recently contracted to optimise the storage operations of citrus fruit distributor FPT at it's Durban facility. The company provided a turnkey storage solution, which included the installation of its mobile racking solution, Movirack®, for two cold storage chambers in the harbour district for the storage of lemons, oranges and grapefruit prior to export.

The structure’s aged floor was also unsuitable for cold storage applications, not satisfying the necessary Geotechnical report guaranteeing the integrity of the subsurface. APC Storage Solutions SA was thus required to engineer, design and supply a new reinforced sub-base and strip footing system, incorporating the company’s Movirack® embedded rail system and new FM2 super-hardened floor, which could handle the stresses of cold storage applications and harsh material handling equipment movements.


A versatile, high-density cold storage solution


Each chamber was equipped with seven mobile racks, eight back-to-back bays deep, to accommodate over 1 200 pallets. Four levels of 2.2 metres in height gave a final storage height of over eight metres. The installation made provision for the addition of an eighth mobile base in each chamber, with the embedded rail system for these bases already installed.

For six months of the year, in line with the seasonal citrus fruit produce it exports, FPT runs a non-stop, 24-hour day, seven-day week cold storage operation. For the remaining non-seasonal months, the facility is used in a utility capacity to accommodate smaller, diverse stock inventories – each with individual dispatch requirements. The racking solution thus had to temper the facility’s cold storage requirements with an ability to quickly and efficiently retrieve each load unit.

“The Movirack® was the most suitable storage solution for the FPT warehouse, because, while it offers maximised pallet density, it also retains a direct access to each stowed pallet, thus allowing immediate retrieval,” explains Ettienne Meyburgh, General Manager – KwaZulu-Natal, APC Storage Solutions SA. “This allows the facility to accommodate diverse secondary stock inventories when it’s not storing fruit.”

The Movirack® system comprises of racking units mounted upon remotely-controlled mobile bases. The mobility of the racking eliminates the need for static aisles required for the operation of conventional forklifts, increasing the amount of space designated for item storage.

Movirack® is especially suitable for minimising the capital costs of cold storage applications, which have inherently high energy requirements. Apart from greater space utilisation, enhanced pallet densities allow the same amount of energy to be applied to a greater number of stock inventory, thus reducing the per-pallet energy cost.

In order to handle the climactic stresses associated with cold storage, in addition to the humid, high-saline atmosphere that Durban experiences, a cataphoresis finish was employed to prevent corrosion and oxidation of the racking components. Cataphoresis is the electro-chemical attachment of charged amino resin particles to an opposite polar surface (the rack and shelf apparatus), offering a high-durability protective bond. Cataphoresis offers surface protection from temperature, humidity, salinity, and other stresses for a guaranteed 55 years


Ancillary and support services


APC Storage Solutions SA has recently opened a new branch in Durban to offer increased support to its rapidly expanding customer base in the region, with several turnkey projects currently in the pipeline. Fred Albrecht, Managing Director, APC Storage Solutions SA, explains how the new branch will be involved in the FPT installation: “As part of the future service and maintenance agreement with FPT, 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.”

APC Storage Solutions SA will supply racking and shelving solutions to the warehouse’s remaining chambers as directed by FPT.


About APC Storage Solutions SA


APC Storage Solutions SA is the South African market leader with the Spanish Mecalux as technology partner. A supplier of world-class products and integrated logistical storage solutions and services, APC Storage Solutions SA is focused on the core values Quality, Experience, Safety, and Technology – QUEST. APC Storage Solutions SA has FEM (European Federation of Material Handling Equipment), SEMA UK (Storage Equipment Manufacturing Association) and RMI (Rack Manufacturers Institute of America) accreditation, along with accreditation from 14 other federations and associationswww.apcstoragesolutions.co.za