Wed, Jul

Data Image invests in vertical storage system to cut waste

Leicester-based Data Image is investing in its wide-format media storage facilities to reduce it waste. The company has already installed a 5.3m-wide High Roller Carousel vertical systems from CMYUK for its roll materials and it has a 3.2m-wide version on order.

“We have always had great racking to keep cheaper sheet materials, in pristine condition. We had nice little vertical racks for smaller rolls like vinyl but when it came to 3.2m and 5m rolls, storage had become somewhat challenging,” said Data Image MD, Robert Farfort. “We had modified some of the delivery pallets to hold 3.2m rolls in a rack, which still needed manual loading and unloading, but most of the time our large rolls of textiles - the most valuable materials that we use - were stacked on the floor.”

Due to the way its textile rolls were being stored, the business was finding that it had to lose a metre in length across 3.2 or 5m widths on virtually every roll purchased due to damage or dirt.

“This is something like £30, £40 or £50s worth of material that can’t be used due to damage or dirt. To the operator, it doesn't seem like a lot - to them they’ve only wound-along a metre but that’s along a 5m wide roll,” stressed Farfort, mindful of the company’s green credentials as well as its bottom-line. 

Data Image follows lean manufacturing processes but its materials storage was falling foul of this practice. With the carousels, issues regarding material waste, damage and inefficiencies should be eradicated.

Farfort added: “The High Roller Carousel offers an ergonomic and practical solution. It’s really compact. It goes up rather than out, utilising all that wasted space - ideal for these big rolls. It’s bizarre because I don’t think many businesses regard equipment like this as adding any value or increasing their bottom line. To them it’s not like buying a printer where there’s a direct correlation between the equipment and making money, but once you do the analysis, the benefits and cost savings are right there.”

The new 5.3m wide storage unit at Data Image is 6.5m high, and can hold up to 40 rolls. A control panel allows for manual up/down press button or automatic selection of a specified roll that is delivered to the operator/picker height at linear speeds between 4-6m per minute. However, rather than the optional trolleys, the business has designed its own automated hydraulic loading/unloading system which means the rolls require the minimum of manual handling.

The carousel has been installed between the company’s 3.2m and 5m wide digital printers, which means that rolls can be directly loaded onto each as quickly and efficiently as possible.

“We’ve ordered a second 3.2m wide system because we hold quite a lot of free issue materials for a few clients. With materials now stored on the carousel, they can see how much care we’re taking of their products. It’s brilliant.”  

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