Caterpillar Marine Power UK Ltd has doubled its pallet storage capacity and significantly improved its warehouse pick rate with the help of Maxipac returnable transit packaging from LINPAC Allibert.
Caterpillar Marine Power Systems is a marine industry leading provider of medium and high speed diesel engines and generator sets. In the Caterpillar warehouse in Wimborne, Dorset over 7,500 active product lines are housed with components ranging from pipes to gearboxes, where manufacturing of certain generator sets, from the Caterpillar product line-up, takes place for a wide variety of marine applications.
Warehouse operatives were picking the parts required for manufacturing from shrink wrapped pallets that came in directly from suppliers. However, when the Caterpillar Marine warehouse in Wimborne introduced a high rack storage system as part of a warehouse streamlining process, it decided to use Maxipac modular containers from LINPAC Allibert to increase storage space, improve the appearance of the warehouse and comply with health and safety requirements.
Adrian Cartwright, logistics and stores supervisor from Caterpillar Marine Power UK Ltd, explains: “In the past we could only fit two pallets on each rack and were just managing to fit 200 pallets into the storage space. Switching to the high rack system with Maxipac containers means we can now fit four units on each rack with enough space for 500, more than doubling our capacity.
“Health and safety was also a key consideration when introducing a high rack system. Picking from shrink wrapped pallets isn’t ideal because there is a danger of products falling. Now all parts are decanted into the Maxipacs when they come in from our suppliers. Visually, the warehouse looks very consistent with a wall of black boxes rather than different types of pallet loads.”
The use of Maxipacs to streamline storage within the warehouse, together with a new barcode system, has seen Caterpillar’s Wimborne warehouse significantly increase its warehouse pick rate to 2,500 picks per week. While the company still has some shrink wrapped pallets coming into the warehouse, many suppliers are now sending products in returnable transit packaging as well.
Simon Knights, commercial director from LINPAC Allibert, comments: “The improvement in capacity and pick rate seen by Caterpillar’s Wimborne warehouse demonstrates the importance of getting the right storage system for the space you are working with. Very few businesses have unlimited space, so we designed the Maxipac range of straight-sided, modular containers that have large capacity when in use, but fold down flat, quickly and simply, saving up to 80% of their fully assembled volume. The containers are ideal for displaying products in a warehouse or retail setting because they offer maximum cube space when in use and allow for faster replenishment of products.”