When LDF Sales and Distributing, a wholesale distributor of Coors, Miller, Red Bull and other alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages based in Kansas, decided to more than double the size of its flagship Wichita warehouse, it installed a variety of dock and fan products to keep the warm weather away from cold storage.
Founded in 1983 by Larry D. Fleming, LDF now has more than 200 employees in Oklahoma City, Tulsa and Wichita. After purchasing a newer, 57,000-square-foot facility and then expanding it by an additional 85,000 square feet, the company’s two state-of-the-art warehouses now total more than 400,000 square feet of temperature-controlled and refrigerated space.
“We wanted to turn an old building into a modern, high-tech facility. That meant lots of safety and green features, including security, pressure and temperature-control upgrades,” says Gary Fleming, LDF’s vice president of project development. “It gets pretty warm in Wichita, so anything that could simply and efficiently move conditioned air around the facility was of great interest to us.”
By allowing dock doors to close to the pit floor, Fleming says, new vertical levelers help keep dust, debris and rodents from entering a facility and eliminate the energy loss from a pit-style leveler. Levelers, installed at all 15 dock stations, let trailer doors remain closed until the trailer is positioned. This allows for an uninterrupted cold chain and provides an additional level of safety and security.
The company then installed 15 impactable soft-sided dock shelters, high-speed doors at the docks and interior partitions. Seven 24-foot diameter fans that cover up to 22,000 square feet each supplement air conditioning, reducing energy consumption by 12% to 16%.
“After a couple of months of operation, our accounting staff asked me if we’d had an electrical meter malfunction or missed a reading, because the utility costs were coming in at one half of projections,” Fleming says. “That’s the kind of surprise we don’t mind getting.”