Flowstore Logos and Flowstore assists Waverly TBS after explosion| Flowstore Systems EU

storage • shelving • warehouse • distribution • fulfilment • live storage • order picking

Flowstore Systems contracted by Waverly TBS after Buncefield explosion

Twelve months on from one of the biggest peacetime blasts in Europe, the fateful ‘Hemel Hempstead incident’ at the Buncefield Oil Depot in December 2005 decimated dozens of business premises and rendered  Waverley TBS totally inaccessible.

Flowstore pull out all the stops for Buncefield victim - Waverley TBS

 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 to minimise disruption to their operations. As a result, the Waverley TBS depot contacted Flowstore, who had project managed the original £1m contract awarded back in 2000 to design and install a fully integrated storage and handling system.

Flowstore pull out all the stops for Buncefield victim - Waverley TBS

After suffering one of the biggest peacetime blasts in Europe, the fateful ‘Hemel Hempstead incident’ at the Buncefield Oil Depot in December 2005 decimated dozens of business premises and rendered one particular neighbouring company - Waverley TBS totally inaccessible. 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 to minimise disruption to their operations. As a result, the Waverley TBS depot contacted Flowstore, who had project managed the original £1m contract awarded back in 2000 to design and install a fully integrated storage and handling system.

Within days of the Buncefield explosion, which had been estimated at 2.4 on the Richter scale and ripped through the Waverley TBS building from the rear loading bay to the front offices and leaving a trail of devastation in its path, Flowstore was onsite to review the damage. Despite steel cladding panels and office partitioning being ripped apart by the blast, amazingly the pallet racking and pallets were found to be in place and bore testimony to the quality of rack equipment installed and structural build. 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.

Immediately, 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. Flowstore, working closely and co-ordinating with their subcontractors, were appointed with the task of dismantling and removing all the storage and handling equipment to enable the building to be safely demolished and relocate the system to another site to minimise disruption.

The Challenge

The original phased project had 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 handling system.

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 3 x 10 m high pick tunnels, known as ‘Fast Alley’,  to provide optimum flow and efficient order picking operations.

Waverley TBS arranged for all the stock to be removed to interim storage in Luton, enabling the twelve man Flowstore team of racking installers to move in and commence inspection, dismantle, label, pack and transport the equipment to a temporary warehouse, approximately 1 mile away. Even this building had suffered blast damage and other contractors were busily making repairs, refurbishing and undertaking fit-out work in order to get the unit operational.

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 and co-ordinating operations with other supporting contractors, Flowstore fulfilled the challenge by meeting the target time scale within a tightly planned and safe operation.

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

Flowstore re-built the storage and handling system to the same layout as the original to enable stock locations to be re-instituted for minimum disruption to picking systems. The whole breakdown and re-build project  was successfully completed to the total satisfaction of Waverley TBS.”

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NOTE: Supporting photographs can be e.mailed  on request

Editorial contact to:
Eddie Collins, Director
B. C. Marketing Limited., 7 Eastway Business Village, Olivers Place,
Fulwood, Preston. PR2 9WT
Tel: 01772 654654   Fax: 01772 652233  e.mail:mail@bcmarketing.co.uk

Reader Enquiries to:
Flowstore Systems Ltd, Fairview Business Centre, 39 Clayton Road,
Hayes,  Middlesex  UB3 1AU
Tel: ( 020) 8581 5555    Fax: (020) 8581 5575   Email: sales@flowstore.co.uk
www.flowstore.co.uk