Case study

1000 New Pallet Locations for Major Fruit Supplier

J.O. Sims – a major UK based fruit supplier, recently approached Warehouse Systems Limited with their requirements for a new and exciting project. They had been commissioned to blend fruit for an international breakfast cereal producer and this required some changes to the building, along with extra racking.

The Challenge

There were a number of criteria vital to the project:

  • Separate storage of allergens was critical, as per food storage legislation. No racking that had previously been used in the “allergen” area could be moved to an area storing non allergens – restricting the relocation of the racking. In addition, when moving from one area to another, protective over clothes had to be changed.
  • Huge amounts of fruit were to be stored, with a very quick turnaround. Block stacking pallets were requested to facilitate this bulk storage.
  • The deadline for the project was short, with an audit scheduled for the final week. The tight deadline meant that different trades would need to work around one another at the same time.

WSL Solution

Strict food storage legislation meant that WSL could not move any racking from the area storing allergens, to the non-allergen area (free of nuts, gluten, soya, celery etc). However, some racking from one of the stores was able to be relocated from an allergen free area to a mixed allergen area.

Once the racking was moved, the allergen area was to be shut down and sealed off for three weeks, to stop any possibility of cross contamination.

In spite of these precautions, all tradespeople needed to work in hair nets – as well as their usual hard hats!

They also required white coats, snoods for beards and overshoes – these items had to be changed before entering an allergen area, with blue hygiene wear for normal areas and red for allergen areas.

WSL had to plan around other trades – particularly the building company that was blocking up doors and creating other access points. WSL is well versed in working alongside other trades and was proactive in requested meetings to ensure that the teams could be co-ordinated to work alongside each other safely, with no disruption to the schedule.

J.O Sims management had requested block stacking; deep racking with several pallets of drive in racking, with racks also stored vertically. This means that pallets have to be loaded and unloaded in a specific format, with the first in, being the last out (FILO). This FILO format usually makes this type of racking unsuitable for fresh food items, but the amount of produce that was being utilised on a daily basis made it an ideal alternative – with an entire block being used at once before starting on the next one.

Pallets could not rest on top of one another, as it would crush the fresh produce. Instead, the racking was built with rails, with pallets sliding in and out. WSL installed a total of 945 new pallet locations in the area.

The first part of the project needed to be complete before new materials were brought to site for the new racking. Therefore several weeks were spent decommissioning, dismantling and rebuilding before the new material arrived.

The works were completed to a very tight schedule by a six-person team including the foreman who was available on site at all times whilst the project manager visited weekly to ensure the project was going to plan without delays.

WSL was chosen for this project because J.O. Sims was already familiar with the quality and competence of the design and installation teams. As an existing supplier for this company, they knew they could trust the WSL promises on value and efficiency. WSL always communicates with the project leaders and other tradespeople, ensuring a seamless, stress free project, completed to deadlines. National Accounts Manager of J.O. Sims commented: “Your boys have done a fantastic job thank you, they have been brilliant a real credit to WSL! Especially helpful in the tiding up before our pre audit on Wednesday.”

By the end of the project, J.O Sims benefitted from an expertly completed set of pallet racks, in an ideal configuration for their exciting new project, allowing them to continue to enjoy their name for quality in supplying fruit to the top worldwide businesses.

Our representative Tim Smith said “This was a great project from start to finish and we are pleased to have completed the installations within the allocated timescale” 

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