optimize its use of the existing facility, where goods are
stored in racks and on floor stacks. (Most products were
previously stored on pallets, but the width of the pallets
often exceeded the width of the products they held, which
resulted in wasted space.)
For help, the company turned to 1Stop
Material Handling of North Easton, Mass., a
dealer that had installed many of its existing
handling and storage systems. In particular,
Atlas was interested in finding ways to maximize storage within the 18,000-square-foot
cooler, where all of the draft beers are stored
in kegs of 1/2-, 1/4-, and 1/6-barrel sizes.
The solution 1Stop came up with called for
the installation of 800 feet of Span-Track flow
rack tracks from Unex to handle the kegs.
The gravity-flow racks include 190 flow rack
locations to accommodate the 1/6-barrel size
kegs ( 5. 23 gallons) and 30 racks for the half-barrel size kegs
( 15. 5 gallons).
The Span-Track concept was already familiar to Atlas.
Several years back, 1Stop had installed the system in the
flow racks used in the ambient storage area of the facility,
where Atlas stores cases of beer. That system enabled the
distributor to house 10 times more cases in the same foot-
print than was possible with the previous setup. Based on its
experience using the Span-Track system for case flow, the
company was confident a similar solution would work for
keg storage in the cooler.
The new installation at Atlas includes flow
racks consisting of four- and eight-foot spans.
The design allows restocking from the backs
of the Span-Track flow racks, which allows
product to be rotated on a first-in/first-out
basis. That is especially important for craft
beers, some of which have a short shelf life
and which do not rotate as fast as more popular brews.
Among other advantages, the Span-Track
solution allows flow lanes to adjust to the
width of the products being housed within
the racking. In Atlas’s cooler application, the
widths were adjusted to the size of the kegs,
but they can easily be reconfigured as storage needs change.
“It also helps us organize our products better,” says
Lamoureux. “With the amount of craft and specialty items
that breweries are creating, it is a necessity to be organized.”
Rollers on the racks provide positive contact with the
kegs, allowing them to gently flow to the front of the racks,
where they can be easily retrieved. Workers no longer
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