Raising the standard – Harman Becker
Harman Becker employs nearly 400 people at its Bridgend location. For many years, Redirack has been the preferred supplier of racking to the company. As part of a planned expansion, resulting from the launch of several new products and winning new customers, the company needed to increase its manufacturing capacity. To accommodate the extra production space, it created additional raw material storage facilities. We were invited to help Harman Becker achieve this objective.
The new storage area measures 15000 square feet and is filled mainly with adjustable pallet racking, laid out in a wide aisle configuration. The racking extends to a height of five metres and it is fitted with timber decking throughout to allow variable pallet sizes to be accommodated. Reach trucks operate in the area, putting away and retrieving pallets of product. Each item is allocated its own location on Harman Becker’s Warehouse Management System, which simplifies the order picking process as the operators are directed to the correct locations for the kits of parts they are collating.
Julie Bratton, Materials Manager at Harman Becker, takes up the story. “As well as the new raw material warehouse, the increase in production, inevitably, put pressure on the existing finished goods warehouse.” She explains. “This meant that we had to extend the existing facility. We have just completed this extension, which has added an extra 33% storage capacity. Naturally Redirack supplied and installed the racking.”
The additional racking has enabled the company to create two distinct areas, one for storing customers’ own returnable containers and cardboard packaging, the other for storing goods received from the production lines prior to despatch. The whole area is laid out with a block of narrow aisle racking and is serviced by Jungheinrich man up combi trucks. Low profile guide rails are fitted in every aisle. Again the bays are timber decked to allow individual customer packaging – Standard or Euro pallets, plastic foldable pallet containers or Euro containers – to be housed.
The finished goods system is extremely easy to manage. Each run of racking is dedicated to a particular customer. Products received from manufacturing are delivered to the appropriate P&D station and the combi puts it away in an empty space pending despatch.
“We have standardised on Redirack. We know that any beams and frames we buy today are compatible with our existing installations. It’s an excellent product, extremely robust and easy to assemble.” Continues Julie. ” I like its distinctive orange colour, which makes it highly visible, an important consideration in a busy warehouse.”