September 2, 2015

Water at the ready

A first in/first out storage system assures that a Chinese mineral water producer always delivers the freshest product possible.

By DC Velocity Staff

Nongshim Engineering has installed a dynamic pallet flow storage system at its Chinese distribution center in Yanbian, Jiling province. The center is part of the Baeksansu Phase I project bottling operation, which has the capacity to produce 1 million tons of bottled mineral water annually. The facility is located in China's Changbai Mountains, which are considered to be among the world's top natural sources for mineral water.

To help manage the flow of goods through the facility, the company chose Interroll's Dynamic Storage system, which is suited for fast-moving goods. One of the system's key attributes is its ability to maintain the first-in/first-out (FIFO) inventory flow essential to turning products quickly. Pallets are loaded into gravity lanes from the higher side and then flow down to the lower retrieval side, assuring that the first pallet in is presented for picking before other pallets in the lane. The Baeksansu system includes 528 gravity lanes holding 13 pallets each, with a total of 7,054 FIFO pallet positions.

Because the system uses gravity to feed pallets, it's economical to operate and consumes zero energy. The system also offers extremely dense storage, occupying about half the space of conventional pallet racks. On top of that, the equipment incorporates Interroll's Magnetic Speed Controller and Safety Separator features, which provide for pallets to be gently and safely deposited in the retrieval positions. The equipment functions well in cold environments, which is a plus for food and beverage producers.

Chris Lee, executive director of business development at Nongshim Engineering, says the FIFO approach supported by this storage system is crucial to assure the swift movement of goods through the facility. "This is very important to any food producer. However, this is not the only reason we chose Interroll. Another important consideration (in selecting the system) was how to deal with the extremely cold weather in Yanbian and our corporate strategy of becoming environmentally friendly," he says.

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