Homans Associates uses upright shelving systems, picks from both sides of lift trucks

Narrow aisles helped Homans maximize horizontal and cubic storage.

By ·

First renowned as a seller and installer of aluminum insulation for walk-in, deep-freeze refrigerators and cold-storage warehouses, Homans Associates has expanded considerably since its founding in the 1940s. By offering more wide ranging specialties today, it is now a full-service distributor of virtually all products and equipment related to heating, ventilating, air conditioning and industrial insulation.

Recently, the company moved from a 45,000-square-foot, low ceiling facility in Somerville, Mass., to a 90,000-square-foot warehouse with 25-foot ceilings in Wilmington, Mass. As it prepared for the move, Homans not only wanted to use its square footage, but its cubic footage as well—so that it could maximize its storage capabilities. To build its storage vertically, Homans reached out to a local dealership.

The team met with Homans’ Wilmington facility and provided the layout, design and development for all of the warehouse’s systems. Taking into consideration the warehouse’s 25-foot ceilings, they suggested 16- to 18-foot upright shelving systems to provide greater vertical storage capacity.

To help Homans’ order selector trucks pick from both sides of the 100-foot-long aisles (and heights up to 20 feet in the air), they designed aisles with 51- and 60-inch widths. The narrow aisles helped maximize horizontal and cubic storage, resulting in more products within a given space.

In addition, to accommodate Homans’ three end riders and electric counterbalanced lift trucks, they laid out aisles that were 12 to 14 feet wide in another section of the facility. In all, Homans leased 15 lift trucks for the facility.

The new warehouse design and equipment has delivered real results for the company. The ability to pick from both sides of the truck, immediately package the product and then continue on to the next order has significantly increased Homans’ order fulfillment efficiency and productivity.

By building up and using vertical space (rather than simply building out and increasing horizontal sprawl)—the insulation distributor has also minimized its real estate and construction costs.

Yale Materials Handling Corporation

(440) 449-9600

Subscribe to Modern Materials Handling Magazine!

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Find out what the world’s most innovative companies are doing to improve productivity in their plants and distribution centers.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Article Topics

Casebook 2017 · Narrow Aisle · Yale · · All Topics
Latest Whitepaper
Solving the Labor Shortage Crisis: The Four Benefits of an Automated Warehouse
Not enough warehouse staff? Finding it difficult to keep up with orders during peak periods?
Download Today!
From the March 2018 Modern Materials Handling Issue
Here’s how one of the world’s largest 3PLs is looking to tomorrow’s innovative technologies, including heads-up display and robotics, to transform its operations today.
Conveyors & sortation: Carrying the e-commerce burden
2018 Productivity Achievement Awards
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
Emerging Technologies for Your Distribution Center
Come get an insider's view of the latest technologies for inside your Distribution Center. You'll learn which technologies are being piloted, which are having success and moving from concept to implementation and into production on the maturity scale, and what's coming on the horizon.
Register Today!
NextGen Supply Chain at DHL
Here’s how one of the world’s largest 3PLs is looking to tomorrow’s innovative technologies,...
Trinchero Family Estates: Pallet handling in the vineyard
The second-largest family-owned wine company in the world turns to automated pallet handling and...

System Report: Rocky Brands Sees the Light
Confronting an aging materials handling system and new channels of business with new customer...
Lodge Manufacturing: Distribution Cast in Iron
In a new facility, iPhones and a new WMS allowed cookware manufacturer Lodge to double its business...