Case Study - Kawneer UK

The design and installation of a high-density, mobile cantilever racking system – utilising available footprint, maximizing capacity and allowing Kawneer UK Ltd to maintain direct access to goods at their facility based in Cheshire…

Key Features:

  • SEC were invited by one of our key materials handling partners to propose plans for the installation of a highdensity, mobile cantilever racking system at Kawneer’s manufacturing facility based in Runcorn, Cheshire
  • SEC delivered an installation that maximises both storage capacity and warehouse footprint, whilst providing Kawneer with direct access to products at all times
  • Due to the nature of the system a number of safety measures were incorporated, including photoelectric beam sensors mounted to each of the racks, remote control capabilities, and remote diagnostics – ensuring that Kawneer’s engineers can troubleshoot issues at any time

Kawneer, an Arconic Company is the leading manufacturer of architectural systems and products in North America with growing presence in Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Arconic, a global technology, engineering and advanced manufacturing leader, creates breakthrough products that shape industries.

Kawneer had previously seen a mobile racking system in operation at an associated company and were highly impressed with the space-saving capabilities it could provide. SEC Storage were recommended to Kawneer by one of our key materials handling partners, in order to propose plans for a system that would provide comparable benefits and efficiencies.

The mobile bases can be controlled by both manual and automatic inputs due to the incorporation of a dedicated RF (radio frequency) system. Manual operations can be carried out via the use of a remote control, and the main control console is used to initiate programmed sequences.

Safety is of course paramount to an automated system such as this, with the setup being equipped with photoelectric beams mounted to each of the mobile racks on the outer sides, ensuring that if an operative moves in front of the bases whilst the system is in operation then the racking will immediately stop moving and the system will shut off.

Remote diagnostics for troubleshooting issues are also available allowing Kawneer’s engineers to fix any minor issues that may occur during operation – ensuring maximum up-time.

Although a mobile racking system like this may seem like a costly option, it serves as a great alternative to costly relocation or warehouse expansion plans. Mobile systems can also allow for the usage of up to 80% of the intended installation space, making this a highly intelligent solution for those who choose it.

Our initial warehouse appraisal identified that a cantilever racking solution would be the optimal system for Kawneers product type i.e. building materials in the form of long and awkward loads. To begin, SEC made preparations to the warehouse floor, cutting out the specified channels where the rails were to be installed. The cantilever racking was then mounted to mobile bases, with these bases then driven by a dedicated, three phase motor along the channels.

This dynamic setup allows for the opening and closing of various aisles via a programmed system, utilising the maximum cubic footprint of the warehouse and providing Kawneer with access to all of their individually stored stillages at any time.