Visitors to the TCS&D Show (13-14 September 2017, Ricoh Arena, Coventry) will be able to see how some of the UK’s most successful cold store operators use Narrow Aisle’s Flexi AC Cold Store (CS) articulated truck to improve handling efficiency at their chilled and frozen storage facilities.
The Flexi AC CS’s ability to increase pallet storage space by up to 40 per cent compared with reach trucks, combined with its ability to collect and deliver pallet loads from loading areas directly into very narrow aisles, has dramatically reduced cold store warehouse logistics costs for many operators.
The Flexi cold store articulated truck is more compact than models offered by competing companies, yet it is still suitable for operating in buildings up to 12 metres high and with loads up to 2000 kg.
Unlike traditional Very Narrow Aisle (guided) trucks, the Flexi AC CS does not require mechanical or inductive wire guidance and, in addition, it does not need special pallet racking: standard adjustable racking is ideal, which means existing racks can be up-cycled during any store reconfiguring process.
Furthermore, the warehouse floor does not need to be of VNA specification as the Flexi AC CS can work on any standard concrete floor or yard thanks to the stability offered by its four-wheel chassis and large elastic rubber tyres. This feature is very useful when operating in powered mobile rack installations - the super elastic tyres ride over the ‘rail tracks’ embedded in the floor without damaging the tyres or the trucks which results in a huge cost saving over time.
Many cold store operators use powered mobile rack systems to max out their storage capacity. The Flexi AC CS, with its VNA aisle configuration, will normally allow 10% more pallets be stored in the cold store chamber. Faster work cycles than a traditional reach truck mean more pallet locations can be serviced by fewer truck units.
A specially designed and conditioned electrical and hydraulic system allows constant change of use between cold and ambient environments – although, with its optional heated cabin, the Flexi AC CS will allow continuous use at minus 28°C and only needs to leave the cold store for a battery change as battery charging can take place in the cold store itself if the design of the store dictates.
“The Flexi AC CS has proved itself in the third party cold store logistics industry as a long term reliable and efficient system for use in high throughput multi-shift 24/7 operations – not least because its ‘roll off’ cassette battery changing facility is very easy to use. Quite simply, the Flexi AC CS improves cold store utilisation and increases operational efficiency,” comments Narrow Aisle’s Commercial Director, John Maguire.