Project: OKI Europe Limited, Cumbernauld
Supplier & Turn Key Provider: DAB Handling

The Client
OKI Europe is a division of OKI Data Corporation, a global business-to-business organisation dedicated to creating professional in-house printed communications products, applications and services which are designed to increase the efficiency of today’s and tomorrow’s businesses.The company is well-established as one of Europe’s leading printer brands, in terms of value and units shipped. Established in 1990, today OKI Europe employs approximately 1,100 people in 21 locations (sales offices and production sites) and is represented in 60 countries throughout the EMEA region. OKI Data Corporation is a subsidiary of Tokyo-based OKI Electric Industry Co. Ltd., established in 1881 and Japan’s first telecommunications manufacturer.

The Brief

To increase the pallet capacity from 5,000 pallets to 14,000 pallets. OKI’s European Manufacturing Facility based in Cumbernauld, Scotland, consists of two warehouses, OKI 1 and OKI 2 -- stock is manufactured in OKI 1 and OKI 2 is used for bulk storage and a pick and pack operation, replenished by OKI 1, for demand within the UK and Ireland. OKI 1 warehouse capacity is 5,000 pallets, consisting of a mixture of bulk and racked locations and OKI 2 has a capacity of 8,000 pallets, which is predominantly bulk storage. As the warehouses require third-party carrier involvement to transport stock from one warehouse to another, a CAPEX to increase the capacity of OKI 1 by 10,500 pallets to 14,500 pallet locations and removing the stock from OKI 2 was approved. Once complete OKI 2 would no longer be required and could be leased out to a third party contractor.

The Solution
D.A.B. handling as a turnkey provider chose a leading racking supplier in Link 51 to partner them in the design and build of drive-in racking to facilitate the increased capacity by providing a high-density, space-efficient solution. Increasing the pallet storage capacity in OKI 1 and negating the need to transport stock from one warehouse to another, together with sub-letting the OKI 2 warehouse, would result in increased operational efficiencies and a significant ROI year on year, manifesting in a payback on the racking solution installed within the first 9 months. In conjunction with OKI’s logistics team, D.A.B. conducted an initial survey and prepared the necessary CAD drawings for the installation. In a three-phase operation designed to minimise disruption, six blocks of drive-in racking were installed to store 7,056 euro pallets (1200 x 800), to a height of 6 pallets. The concept of drive-in racking is where pallets are stored on runners in the depth of the racking and trucks enter to deposit or retrieve loads.

The bottom two levels of each block are double-stacked with two pallets, as opposed to one. This was made possible due to the lightweight nature of the products (printers) and was considered to be the most economical solution. Lead-ins and guide channels were installed within the racking to help MHE operatives negotiate pallet access. The racking houses an integrated sprinkler system, containing 200,000 gallons of water which D.A.B. worked closely with OKI’s chosen sprinkler company and it’s own racking partner to accommodate this central pre-requisite of the build project.

D.A.B. handling selected a proven forklift partner in the field of Narrow Aisle Warehousing in Linde Material Handling who worked closely to specify and supply the specialised narrow aisle Reach Trucks to fulfil and compliment the space- saving drive-in racking. These trucks were critical to the success of the project fulilling it’s potential. In addition and as part of OKI’s environmental and ‘green’ core values D.A.B. chose to provide an energy saving and highly efficient battery charging alternative which projected to make truck lifetime electricity/water cost savings of around 30% in comparison to standard equipment and thereby reducing C02 footprint. This was a win-win and OKI were delighted with this bonus factor of fulfilling their environmental policy whilst saving costs throughout the lifetime of their MHE.

OKI Racking