Page 4: Reducing construction time
The building and racking were to be completed using ‘fast track’ principals to reduce construction time. Dexion was briefed in October, the system was trialled in June the following year and by the September, handed over complete. With such a large project, deadlines were critical. Missing any prescribed dates would result in Cadbury failing to supply key demand through a critical seasonal period and this could result in diminished revenues and profit.
At Minworth, with 36 aisles, each 106m long and with seven storage levels in the 15 m height, the Dexion set-up provides more than 100 km - or in excess of 64 miles - of pallet storage. Put another way, the warehouse has storage space for an impressive 50 million Easter eggs and chocolates from around 250 product lines. Within the warehouse, nine specialised narrow aisle fork trucks with an unladen weight of 13 tonnes are used to lift the pallets, using - for the first time anywhere in the world - a new type of double lifting fork. The goods are then manoeuvred by AGVs (Automatic Guided Vehicles) operated by an underfloor wire guidance system. Movement of the AGVs is continuously monitored via sensors in the floor linked to a dedicated stock-control system.
The Minworth site is the largest chilled store in Europe. Its roof alone could cover nine football pitches. It can handle 93,000 pallets of product at any time, with the average weight of a pallet being 1500 kg, giving a massive capacity of 140,000 tonnes of chocolate. Cadbury distribution operations manager, Peter Norman, has complete confidence in the ability of the facility to meet all demand that may be made. Dexion has used its wealth of experience to provide a complete solution, enabling the cost-effective utilisation of space to lead to greater business efficiency. This massive chilled facility was fitted with some of the most sophisticated and efficient handling equipment available which for Cadbury helps to lead to:
- improved response to order request;
- a higher level of accuracy with the ability to get it right every time;
- higher quality of dispatched items.