Highly Flammable – Selden Research

Back in 1997, we completed a narrow aisle racking installation for Selden Research. Based in Buxton, the company manufactures a wide range of specialised cleaning and maintenance chemicals for the industrial and automotive markets. Selden has experienced a period of rapid growth since, meaning it has had to increase both production and storage capacity. The latest development, a £750,000 investment, saw the extension of the existing high bay narrow aisle scheme, adding a further 2500 pallet locations. We won the contract to supply the racking.

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Phil Bowden, Works Manager, explains. “Over the past five years, the amount of product we manufacture and despatch has practically doubled. The extension is almost a mirror image of the original scheme, with one or two major differences. The original racking now stores raw materials, which feed the manufacturing lines. Finished goods are stored in the new racking with picking faces at floor level and bulk storage above.”
The racking, which rises to just over ten metres, is serviced by wire guided, narrow aisle turret trucks. The aisles are also used by a number of order picking vehicles, which are not wire guided. Consequently, Phil opted to have our sacrificial leg fitted to every upright. In the original scheme, they are only fitted to the front leg of the first upright of each run of racking. “It’s a brilliant system.” Enthuses Phil. “The initial cost of the sacrificial legs is easily outweighed by the savings in maintenance and downtime when replacing the first damaged upright.”

Many of the 400 or more different products manufactured by Selden are highly flammable or sold in aerosols. BS5360 part II and EN12845, covering the use, design and installation of sprinkler systems and classification of hazards in the workplace, specify the special precautions required when storing such products in racking systems. The area, where these products are stored, has to meet the requirements for High Hazard Storage, category IV. Two of the aisles in the new scheme are equipped to meet the required standards. Due to the height of the racking and to ensure that all locations can receive the required coverage of water, in the event of fire, in-rack sprinklers are installed in each bay and at every storage level. Mesh screens, which run from floor to ceiling, were fitted to the back side of each run of racking. This precaution will contain the spread of fire caused by, for example, aerosol containers behaving like rockets.

Completing the installation, full height roller doors have been fitted at the entrances to the two aisles. They come down automatically if the fire alarm is activated. Escape runs within the racking enable anybody trapped when the doors activate, to get out safely.
In spite of the extra work required to install the in-rack sprinklers, protective meshing and roller doors, the project was completed in time for Selden to start using the scheme after the Christmas shutdown. It is now fully operational and contributing to the company’s ability to ship out 400 to 500 pallet loads of product every day.

“We are extremely pleased with the new warehouse extension.” Phil Bowden concludes. “Once again, Redirack has performed very well. The product is well designed, functional and clearly fit for the purpose for which it is intended.”

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