Compact warehouse solution from APC Storage Solutions SA for international engineering group

APC Storage Solutions SA recently supplied a large international engineering group with a holistic warehouse solution that enables the storage of items ranging from small and easy-to-handle parts, to long and heavy industrial pipes.

This new warehouse, located in Wingfield Park, Johannesburg, replaces two international distribution centres, that were located in South America and Europe, all within a space of just 17 000m2.

“APC Consult, our forward-thinking design department, created a compact warehouse layout that integrated the engineering group’s existing cantilever racking, more than 8 000 stock keeping units [SKUs] of new conventional pallet racking, as well as

30 000 SKUs of light duty shelving into one new warehouse,” says Deon Jennings, Operations Manager, APC Storage Solutions SA. “Our solution also included two 700m2 mezzanine levels, supported by the actual pallet racking, to create additional floor space for the light duty racking.”

The client stores large and heavy drill bits, pipes and tubes for heavy industry and mining applications with weights of up to 2 000kg per meter in the specialised cantilever racking system. This facilitates a high storage density of abnormally long and difficult-to-handle items. The conventional racking stocks standard pallets and each of the system’s 15 back to back rows are configured to accommodate pallets of various weights and heights. The mezzanine-supported shelves accommodate smaller items for storage in bins and boxes.

“To transport the smaller items to and from the upper mezzanine levels, we installed two automated incline belt conveyors. These eliminate the need for operators to carry any loads, which improves safety as well as general productivity,” says Jennings.

The cantilever racking was relocated from one of the client’s existing warehouses in Sebenza in the east of Johannesburg. To avoid major disruptions to the company’s regular operations, APC Storage Solutions SA worked closely with the company to co-ordinate the unpacking, disassembly and reassembly of ten racking bays at a time. “We first supplied our client with four rows of heavy duty cantilever racking back in 2008. The relocation to Wingfield Park marks this racking’s third move, and it still maintains its original quality,” says Jennings.

“This warehouse has helped the engineering group consolidate its two local and two international warehouses into a single, highly efficient and compact facility. It has freed up space for a new company division at one of the previous sites, and greatly optimises daily operations. To store pipes and tubes that are too big for this new facility, we designed a self-support cantilever warehouse, which offers a highly cost-efficient alternative to the more traditional warehouse construction methods,” concludes Jennings.

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.

APC Storage Solutions SA offers world-class service in Gauteng and throughout South Africa, including Cape Town, Durban, Pretoria and Johannesburg. Services are also available throughout the African continent.