KOOI-Reachforks, Case study

Pearl Music Europe Stores 2400 Pallet Locations Two-Deep

Pearl Music Europe’s European warehousing facility makes use of three types of storage system ­­– 4,400 conventional selective, 2,400 double-deep and 200 drive-in pallet rack locations. Two-deep sections are located in the bulk storage and slow mover areas. The percussion instrument manufacturer (drum kits, bongos, congas, etc.) relocated to the Netherlands in 2002 from where it has been directly supplying retail outlets throughout Austria, the Benelux, Denmark, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK.


Distribution is carried out in other countries via importers. Rapid retail delivery times had led to an explosive growth in Pearl’s sales, which prompted them to relocate to new premises in Belfeld in 2005. In 2007, expansion continued with the construction of a new warehouse for bulk goods and goods receipting. In Belfeld, there are over 7,000 articles permanently in stock from a total range of 30,000 products.

‘Our growth meant that we needed even more storage space, so we started planning a new warehouse,’ explains Hans Waeyen, Warehouse Manager at Pearl Music Europe, Belfeld. ‘Unfortunately, we weren’t allowed to build any higher than nine metres. This prevented us from opting for a very narrow aisle solution and high-lift trucks. Given the diversity of products, additional drive-in racks weren’t the right solution either. We asked ourselves what the right solution was to retain as much flexibility as possible.’ Two-deep racks and the ergonomic Atlet UHS 200reach truck with telescopic forks provided the ideal solution to the problem. The Orlaco camera/monitor system allows drivers to see exactly what they are doing. This greatly simplifies the process of placing and picking loads to and from two pallet locations deep. ‘We had to get used to it at first, but now it’s a piece of cake’, says Hans Waeyen. ‘It’s clear to us now that two-deep storage was the key to solving our challenge.’


Hans Laurensse (Consultant) adds, ‘Two-deep solutions often provide the same number of pallet locations as very narrow aisle configurations, yet they are significantly less expensive to implement, as the trucks required are far cheaper. Compared to regular selective rack systems, two-deep configurations provide 25% more storage space, which is exactly what Pearl was looking for. Two-deep solutions often require a similar type of product make-up. We assumed a range of between five and twenty similar pallet types. Less than this, and flexibility is inadequate and time is lost handling goods ­– although this doesn’t necessarily present any problems for slow movers. Above twenty, and you’re better off with drive-in or drive-through racks, or other types of compact storage system altogether.’



Photo 1:The Atlet UHS 200 is fitted with telescopic forks that can be extended to a depth of 2,400 mm into the rack.

Photo 2: Drivers can see whether all is well – even at considerable heights – using a camera/monitor system.


Source: Logistiek Totaal Oktober 2009.

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