Dairy Crest cuts costs by switching pallet truck fleet

1 min read

New pallet and picking trucks are helping butter and cheese manufacturer Dairy Crest to save space and money at its distribution centre in Nuneaton, which despatches 2,500 pallets of dairy products each day.

Four pallet trucks, from Jungheinrich, transfer finished product from lorry to automated receiving conveyors. The 27,000 sq m facility houses two fully automated high bay warehouses – one handling cheese maturation with storage capacity for over 35,000 pallets and a second with the capacity to store 10,000 pallets of finished products. The ERE 225 powered pallet trucks with fixed stand-on platforms are ideal for confined spaces, including within the trailers. Each incoming pallet's identity is verified with Dairy Crest's warehouse management system before being sent to its allocated storage location. A monorail system delivers each pallet to its allocated aisle where it is put away in racking by automated crane. Finished products ready for despatch are stored in a two-tier picking hall. The picking aisles are replenished by five storage and retrieval cranes and there are 1,000 picking locations at ground floor level. ECE 220 low level order pickers, fitted with radio data terminals, are used in the picking operation, where their high acceleration and low energy consumption benefit a high throughput facility such as this. Once picked, orders are delivered by the order picking trucks to a marshalling area where they are loaded onto trailers using the Jungheinrich ERE trucks. The batteries used to power the Jungheinrich order pickers and the ride-on pallet handlers are interchangeable – a key reason for the equipment selection by Dairy Crest. This has led to fewer batteries being required, resulting in an 18% cost saving. "Picking and loading is very hard on a truck's batteries," says warehouse operations manager, Brandon Moss. "Apart from the significant cost benefits that have resulted from reducing the number of batteries we need, we have also been able to allocate an area of our charging bay to other things." Dairy Crest operates 33 Jungheinrich order picking trucks, 12 ride-on pallet trucks and four electric and diesel counterbalance trucks at the Nuneaton store.