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4PLUS Bouwmaterialen B.V.

4PLUS: Racking used for improved safety and capacity

4PLUS Bouwmaterialen B.V., a purchasing organisation for the 59 associated independent builder's merchants, has more than doubled the capacity of its central warehouse in Born, in the Netherlands by installing OHRA cantilever racks. Whereas previously, building materials such as wood battens, beams and dry construction boards were stored in blocks on the warehouse floor, the 8,470mm racks now enable the warehouse space to be fully utilised up to a height of around 10 metres. Not only does this provide more storage space, it also greatly simplifies the whole handling process of building materials, improves safety for the warehouse staff and minimises damage to the materials.

Block stacking meant cumbersome handling to get to the required materials. Re-storing the materials put them at risk, and the building materials were repeatedly damaged by the process. Damaged materials and unwieldy handling also posed a risk to the safety of warehouse staff. Moreover, the materials could only be placed on one level with the block stacking.

For these reasons, 4PLUS decided to optimise its storage concept and replace the block stacking with two rows of 23.4-metre long cantilever racking by OHRA. The racks are fitted with 1.2-metre long cantilever arms on both sides. They provide a total of six storage levels per side. The carrying capacity of each arm is 1,275 kilograms. This development of the “third dimension” has increased the capacity of the warehouse by over 50 percent. Furthermore, the different materials can be stored in a segregated manner, and the desired item accessed directly.

Not only has 4PLUS chosen the quality and carrying capacity of hot-rolled racks, they have also chosen the flexibility of OHRA. True to this trait, the European leader in cantilever racking has integrated the 80 “old” cantilever arms already in 4PLUS’ possession into the new system. The racking was also fitted with a total of 31 galvanised grates: This allows material in pallets to be stored in the cantilever racks as well. The racking system is served by a multi directional side loader while a guide rail system on the bases facilitates manoeuvring in the aisle.

All in all, the optimised warehouse has allowed 4PLUS to greatly improve its logistics process. The new racking system ensures that the 59 associated businesses with over 80 branches throughout the country can be supplied safely and efficiently into the future.

About 4Plus B.V.:

4Plus is an association of 65 independent contractors with almost 90 branches all over the Netherlands. The 4Plus companies stock a wide range of building materials, from shell construction materials such as insulation material, bricks, roof tiles and wood, to indoor tiles, kitchens and a full range of iron and metal materials and tools. Procurement, automation and logistics are controlled centrally from Born in the Netherlands. 4Plus also partners with the German procurement organisations BauVista for building materials and Holzland for timber and interior design materials. The association was founded in 1994 and has had its headquarters in Born since 2006.

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