Flowstore Logos and Live storage and order picking system for WaverleyTBS: Flowstore designed and installed system after Buncefield explosion

industrial storage • live storage • flow racking • industrial shelving & racking • order picking system

Flowstore designed and installed a storage and order picking system for Buncefield explosion victim, Waverley TBS, with an enhanced design, on budget and ahead of time.

As a result of Europe’s largest peacetime explosion, Waverley TBS premises, the UK’s leading independent drinks distributor, were rendered devastated and inaccessible. The Waverley TBS depot contacted Flowstore, who had project managed the original £1m contract awarded back in 2000, to design and install a new fully integrated industrial storage and order picking system to include industrial shelving and racking, flow racking and live storage with ergo tilt shelving.

Buncefield explosion. Industrial pallet racking still in place.
Industrial storage & order picking system. Waverley TBS Strange but true ..
Despite steel cladding panels and office partitioning being ripped apart by the blast, amazingly the original pallet racking and pallets installed by Flowstore were found to be in place and bore testimony to the quality of rack equipment installed and structural build.
Picture courtesy of Chiltern Air Support Unit Most of the damage to stock and parts of the conveying system was a result of falling debris and being exposed to the wet and freezing winter weather.

Disaster Recovery 2006
As the UK’s leading drink’s distributor of alcoholic and soft drinks to over 35,000 on-trade outlets, it was imperative that immediate action was taken after the original disaster to minimise disruption to their operations.

Flowstore acted as Principle Contractor and ran the disaster site under full CDM conditions. Working 12-hour days, 6 days a week in freezing open-air winter conditions Flowstore coordinated operations with the other supporting contractors, they fulfilled the challenge by meeting the target time scale within a tightly planned and safe operation.

Within days of the Buncefield explosion Flowstore was on site to review the damage. Estimated at 2.4 on the Richter scale, the blast left a trail of devastation as it ripped through the Waverley TBS building from the rear loading bay to the front offices.

Waverley TBS actioned an excellent disaster recovery plan which involved moving business operations to other depots and emptying the damaged building in the shortest possible time scale. Waverley TBS arranged for all the stock to be removed to interim storage in Luton.

Industrial shelving & warehouse racking. Order picking tunnel: Live storage, powered belt conveyor Picking Tunnel Factfile
Waverley installed for the Picking Tunnel:-

  • LS2 live storage.

  • Powered belt conveyor.

To minimise disruption and allow the building to be safely demolished, the Flowstore team moved in and under ongoing safety precautions, dis-mantled, labelled, packed, transported and re-installed the equipment in a temporary warehouse, approximately one mile away. Even this building had been damaged in the blast.

A temporary operation ran at that site for about a year whilst the original building was re-constructed.

The New 2007 Warehouse
The original project included the installation of both static and dynamic pallet storage racking, LS2 carton live storage, mesh partitioning, long-span shelving, plastic containers and a series of conveyors to provide an efficient material handling system.

For the rebuilt site, some layout changes were introduced to cater for changes to the business since 2000, giving improved throughput in ‘Fast Alley’ via a re-designed and extended conveyor system from European Conveyors.

Order picking tunnel: Live storage, ergo tilt industrial shelving3 Order picking tunnel: Live storage, ergo tilt industrial shelving1 The system had catered for storing some:-

  • 9,000 pallets in 10m high racking.
  • 1150 products in pallet push-back.
  • 1,600 lines in carton live storage.

To cater for single bottle picks, Flowstore had arranged the push-back pallet racking, carton live and conveyors into a series of 3 x 10 m high pick tunnels, known as ‘Fast Alley’ to provide optimum flow and efficient order picking operations.

The system had catered for storing some 9,000 pallets in 10m high racking, 1150 products in pallet push-back and 1,600 lines in carton live storage. To cater for single bottle picks, Flowstore had arranged the push-back pallet racking, carton live and conveyors into a series of 10m high pick tunnels, known as ‘Fast Alley’, to provide optimum flow and efficient order picking operations. This gave efficient use of warehouse height using 4-deep push back racks above the ground floor order picking and conveyor area.

Flowstore Managing Director, Simon Dennis said,
 “The projects had to be completed within very specific time windows, especially working in very difficult conditions within the devastated Waverley TBS depot. Safety had to be of paramount importance. We successfully completed the challenge, but would openly acknowledge that this was very much a team effort involving Waverley, Flowstore and excellent subcontractors who gave full support and commitment to the project.

Having handled the disaster recovery scheme to Waverley TBS’ satisfaction, there was confidence Flowstore would equally manage the new warehouse build. Flowstore re-built the industrial storage and order picking system to principally the same layout as the original to enable stock locations to be re-instituted for minimum disruption to picking systems. The re-build project was successfully completed to the total satisfaction of Waverley TBS, and operations were fully functioning on schedule.”

Pallet push back built over carton live storage The benefits of the Flowstore Pallet Push-Back System

 • Gives an excellent return on investment (roi).
 • Better selectivity of pallets - each lane can be individually emptied.
 • Increases inventory management efficiency.
 • Suitable for use in Freezer stores.
 • Optimises warehouse / storage space.
 • Gives up to 50% more pallet storage.
 • The cart design ensures pallets track straight.
 • Has an ultra slim construction
 • Reduces energy requirement in a temperature controlled environment
 • Can be retro-fitted into an existing racking system.
 • Storage capacity can be identified by colour coded carts.

For further information
Click here for Flowstore LS2 - carton live storage
Click here for Flowstore ET2 Ergo Tilt Shelving
Click here for Flowstore Pallet Push-Back System

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