Before airplanes take to the skies and deliver passengers to faraway destinations, they pass, in pieces, through aircraft parts distribution centers.
Bob Stanford, CEO of Zenith Aviation in Fredericksburg, Virginia, understands well the plight of his industry. Even disassembled, aircraft are still aircraft. They’re big and heavy and an absolute bother to store efficiently.
With help from Montel’s expert installation team, Zenith Aviation overcame the odds and achieved new heights by updating its traditional inventory racking to a state-of-the-art powered mobile racking system:
What did Montel build for Zenith?
Zenith Aviation traded its four static industrial racks for 10 SAFERAK 32P powered mobile racking units.
By switching out the old for the new, Zenith saved 12,000-plus cubic feet of space in its warehouse while more than doubling its rack availability.
Why does mobile racking matter in aircraft parts storage?
Distribution is a tricky line of work no matter what companies distributors work with. Airplane components, however, challenge logistics companies in ways a typical retail distributor would never experience.
Aircraft parts are extremely large. Depending on the size of the aircraft they’re designed for, jet engines alone weigh about 1 to 2 tons each. Many are more than 12 feet in length. You can’t just throw one of those on any old industrial rack and call it a day.
Mobile racking solutions optimize cubic footage so distributors benefit from all vacancies, including the biggest of them all: the aisles. And by replacing static racking with a mobile installation, converts don’t sacrifice any of their weight capacity. Zenith Aviation’s SAFERAK 32P powered mobile racking module, for example, holds up to 1 million pounds. According to NASA, that’s two whole airplanes (passengers included).
“Jet engines weigh about 1 to 2 tons each.”
Abnormally shaped stock
Apart from sheer size, aircraft parts distributors also have to deal with the odd dimensions of the items they store. It’s one thing to manage hundreds of thousands of boxes that fit neatly on a pallet or take up just as much room as needed on a shelf. Aircraft parts distributors, with their bulky components too heavy and irregular to store efficiently, don’t have the same luxury.
When businesses invest in high-performance powered mobile racking systems, they reclaim a lot of unused space, which they can then devote back to storing their miscellaneous goods. Zenith Aviation can now fit three times as many parts in the exact same amount of space, no renovations or expansions necessary.
Think about all the opportunities that extra room affords. Space, after all, is the service a distributor offers. More of it means greater profitability.
Shipping retail products around the world is complex enough. Shipping pieces of airplanes? Now that’s tough. There’s no way to speed up the process if operations fall behind schedule. One mistake could seriously injure warehouse workers or damage components worth millions of dollars.
So how can powered mobile racking bring precision to aircraft parts distribution? Montel installed remote controls on every Zenith Aviation forklift. Drivers can open and close the aisles they need to access en route to the storage area. They save every second for the picking process and give themselves ample time to observe all the precautions necessary for a safe work environment.
Do you distribute items you think are too cumbersome to store efficiently? Let your local Authorized Montel Distributor be the judge of that. Contact us today!