Case Study - Ideal Stelrad Group

Ideal Fleet for Distribution Hub

One of the UK’s largest boiler and radiator manufactures, the Ideal Stelrad Group, has recently taken delivery of a new fleet of state-of-the-art Pallet Trucks in Rotherham after awarding another major contract to the Forkway Group.

With 30,000 pallet spaces located in 10.5 metre high racking, Ideal Stelrad wanted to replace its distribution hub fleet to incorporate the latest advances in equipment productivity and ergonomics. Providing operators with a range of comfortable, reliable equipment was key to the fleet solution which would enable the off-loading of 20 deliveries and more than 12,800 picks per day. The Group’s radiator manufacturing facility is on the same site as the distribution hub and also required a range of materials handling equipment.

The Solution

Yale® distributor Forkway carried out a detailed logistics study to identify the materials handling requirement and worked closely with Ideal Stelrad Group to ensure every piece of equipment was specified correctly and to the best possible configuration. The new fleet solution also offers a 30 per cent reduction in energy consumption and savings more than 300 tonnes of carbon over the contract term.

The fleet includes 18 Yale® MP20X pallet trucks that have been equipped with longer forks and re-positioned load wheels to efficiently handle the 300 different pallet sizes and configurations housed in the distribution centre and to minimise damage to pallets and loads during picking and transportation.

The pallet trucks feature ergonomic tiller heads with angled grips and low effort controls for maximum operator comfort. A low mounted tiller arm minimises steering effort and enhances the operating experience, dual lift and lower controls allow left or right hand operation.

They are used throughout the distribution centre’s 24 hour shift period five days a week, and are operated alongside a number of reach trucks and counterbalance forklift trucks. Lifting up to 1.4 tonnes, the pallet trucks have also been fitted with HD cameras and monitors for precise and safe handling.

Energy Efficiency

The new battery charging system pumps air into the battery reducing the need for cooling. Recharging times have been cut and the system also requires less maintenance.

Spare battery capacity has been increased by 50 per cent on the same footprint and a battery transfer unit has reduced the need for manual handling making battery charging even more time efficient.

Radiator Manufacturing

Forkway specified a Yale® GLP18VX to lift radiator fins on to the production line and three Yale MP20XV take finished products off the packaging machine, placing them ready for despatch to the distribution hub.

A Yale MP20 works around the clock in the area of the factory that makes components such as wall mounting brackets, connections and fittings. The truck’s outstanding manoeuvrability in tight spaces made it ideal for this manufacturing environment.

A Forkway engineer is based on site to ensure the fleet is maintained and serviced effectively prolonging the life of the fleet and ensuring downtime is kept to a minimum.

Customer Satisfaction

Sara Eliot, Ideal Stelrad Group’s warehouse and distribution centre manager said: “Forkway ensured a seamless transition to the new fleet of pallet trucks in Rotherham and carried out employee training where necessary.”

“Our Forkway engineer has integrated into our business well and we look forward to a long and successful relationship with Forkway and Yale for many years to come.”