Delta Children started out with a 216,000 ft² warehouse and as it expanded, it moved into 300,000 ft² of space. The company eventually outgrew the space it was occupying in three separate facilities in southern California and began to transition into a 474,691 ft² warehouse in Fontana, CA. in order to consolidate operations. “Our business has changed,” said Phil Todaro, Delta Children’s vice president of warehousing. “The e-commerce business continues to grow as it does for every other major manufacturer. Because of our strong business with Wal-Mart, Target and Amazon, who are now asking for quicker turnaround, the prior buildings were very hard to pick and that was what was slowing us down. Processing and shipping the orders was not an issue, it was picking the orders.”
As a manufacturer of furniture and products of varying sizes for children ages 0 to 12, Delta Children needed a way to store, pick and ship products quickly and efficiently. “We can have something as tiny as a phone, which is a monitor, all the way up to a 240 to 300 lb. chest. Those all ship multiple different ways,” Todaro said. The various shipping methods Delta Children uses in its cross-dock building include next-day air, LTLs (less-than-truckloads) and full truckloads, and the company needed a storage system that could accommodate its ever-changing business.
“Amazon is a perfect example,” Todaro said. “We recently got orders in for 23,000 units that had to ship the next morning. We have to be able to pick it quickly, have floor space for it and then batch it, label it, put it on pallets and stage it all. That all has to be done in 24 to 48 hours.”
Interlake Mecalux’s Proposed Solution
Interlake Mecalux and warehouse integrated storage solutions provider Ziglift / Global Trade Marketing worked with Delta Children to develop a storage solution that would meet Delta’s need for storage space and ease of picking. Delta Children’s new warehouse features 289,958 ft² of Interlake Mecalux bolted Selective Pallet Rack with 2,443 bays, not including tunnel bays. Throughout the warehouse there are blocks with 47 aisles of pallet racking with a capacity of 30,606 pallets, half of which are standard 40 x 48 in. at three pallets per level, while the other half includes oversized pallets at two pallets per level. Delta Children also took full advantage of the building’s height with 36 and 28 ft tall frames. “Maximizing the height in this new building was critical,” said Zsigmond Balla, president and CEO of Ziglift / Global Trade Marketing.
In order to maximize storage capacity and accommodate its turret trucks, Delta Children decided upon 80 in. wide aisles, which had to fit within the building grid, while also burying the building’s columns. Due to the rigid forklift aisles, Interlake Mecalux and Ziglift / Global Trade Marketing had to adjust the row spacers, which is why their widths range from 12 to 30 in. “Thankfully, the new building fit well with our desired pattern. We were able to sandwich all of the columns within the rack flues,” Balla said. “The 80 in. clear requirement was not entirely set in stone, either. We could occasionally adjust them by an inch and not affect the performance of the forklift operators.”
California is well-known for its high level of seismic activity, which is why Delta Children’s Interlake Mecalux bolted Selective Racks also have 12-gauge steel frames with 84 in. high reinforcement and 8 x 8 in. foot plates. The potential for seismic activity also required the use of top aisle ties to stabilize single rows and uprights without row spacers. Because turret trucks have a massive bulk, the top ties needed to extend 8 ft higher so that the turret trucks would not bump into the ties from underneath. This also explains why some uprights are 36 ft high instead of the standard 28 ft.
Interlake Mecalux and Ziglift / Global Trade Marketing also were able to meet Delta Children’s tight deadline for installing the bolted Selective Rack. “Interlake Mecalux was able to ship the racking in two to three weeks and then continue to ship until we were able to complete the project,” Balla said. “We did everything within two months, from start to completion.”
Overall, Delta Children’s Todaro estimates his company has seen a more than 33 percent increase in storage capacity since installing the Interlake Mecalux bolted Selective Rack, which he credits to the efforts of Interlake Mecalux and Ziglift / Global Trade Marketing.
“Interlake Mecalux and Ziglift / Global Trade Marketing worked together to help us manage our increasing current growth, and with their expert design and engineering team, they helped to create a warehouse solution suitable to our future development,” Todaro said. “They provided us with a team of engineers, installers and warehouse storage experts to help come up with the best possible storage solution that meets our needs.”
Advantages for the Customer
- Increased Storage Capacity: by choosing Interlake Mecalux bolted Selective Rack, Delta Children was able to increase its storage capacity by 33 percent.
- Ease of Picking: bolted Selective Rack offers direct access to any pallet and is adaptable to any product volume, weight or size, which greatly increased Delta Children’s picking speed.
- Maximizes Available Height: some frames in Delta’s bolted Selective system are 36 ft high, allowing the company to make use of its new warehouse’s height.
Products used in this project
|Number of bays:||2,443 bays (does not include tunnel bays)|
|Frame specs:||All are 42 in. wide, with 12-gauge steel and 8 x 8 in. baseplates welded flush with the face of the column. Most are 336 in. high, but some are 432 in. The backers are primarily 84 in. high front and rear, although some are 102 in|
|Beam specs:||Beams are primarily 50E x 144 in., with mostly 4-pin connector plates (roughly 30% are 5-pin). There also are C6 x 180 in. channel beams (4-pin) for the forklift tunnels, and 40E x 60 in. beams for pedestrian tunnels (also all 4-pin). All roll-formed beams use 15-gauge steel|
|Number of beam levels:||The standard elevation calls for 4 beam levels|
|Height of rack:||Uprights are either 336 in. or 432 in. The maximum storage height, however, is 34 ft-1 in|
|Number of aisles:||47|
|Aisle width:||81 in|
|Pallet type:||Half are standard 40 x 48 in. size and half of the pallets are oversized|
|Pallets per level:||3 for standard sized pallets and 2 for oversized pallets|
|Capacity:||Static capacity is 3,969 lbs. per pair|
|Area racked:||289,958 ft²|