Allan Brothers Fruit Co.
DACO Scratches Six-Year Itch
Allan Brothers is a fruit packing company that provides apples and cherries for large retailers across the United States. The company had been considering expanding its cold storage capacity for more than six years, but kept getting delayed in its decision. In 2010, however, the company built a new cold storage warehouse and decided that the time was right to expand its storage. Allan Brothers initially considered an Automatic Storage and Retrieval System, but didn’t have the budget for it. The company called Eric Anderson, territory manager at DACO Corporation (Kent, WA), who has been their material handling distributor for more than a decade. Allan Brothers wanted to expand to 2,500 pallet positions to allow for future expansion.
Anderson called Adel Santner, regional sales manager at Advance Storage Products. "Having worked with Adel for several years, I knew that Advance would be able to do the job on time and with no issues." Together with Santner and DACO Sales Engineer Justin Cox, Anderson presented a drive-in pallet racking system with two levels of pushback rack above it for cold storage.
Advance provided structural engineering for the pallet rack system, which included double-wide drive-in bays, 306 lanes of four-deep pushback, 126 lanes of three-deep pushback and 32 lanes of two-deep pushback that increases Allan Brothers' efficiency for storing and rotating SKUs. The project cost more than $400,000, but as Anderson says, price was only part of the concern. "This wasn’t simply a price project. Having worked with DACO for more than ten years, Allan Brothers knew they were getting an experienced installation crew and a solution that would fulfill its needs."
The customer appreciated the additional considerations that DACO and Advance Storage provided. The drive-in pallet racking was equipped with column doublers to reinforce the columns and increase safety in the drive-in bays.
Aisles were fitted with rub-rail guards to prevent damage as forklifts enter the bays. The pallet rack had a link cart system that linked the carts together and ensured the load wouldn’t come loose and fall into the aisles. Advance also arranged to ship the products intermodal rather than simply using flatbeds for road transport, which saved Allan Brothers time and money on freight. A project more than six years in the making just ripened with age.
Department of Veterans Affairs Puget Sound Health Care System
DACO Corporation (Kent, WA) proves once again that they are up to the challenge of providing high quality competitively priced modular enclosures. When approached by the Department of Veterans Affairs Puget Sound Health Care System to provide temporary Pharmacy Mixing Modules, DACO turned to the Clean Room Division of Starrco Company for a solution.
DACO's Territory Sales consultant Denice Bethea worked closely with Starrco Company's Kevin Hennessy, Clean Room Division Manager, and the VA's project management staff to develop a complete turnkey package that included: four (4) separate clean room mixing modules within one common enclosure.
The modules were designed to comply with the USP-797 Pharmaceutical Compounding and Sterile Preparations guidelines. Each module was required to maintain ISO-7 clean room conditions and a combination of positive air pressurization in the ante-room and IV preparation areas, and negative air pressurization in the Chemo Prep area. The modules were shipped complete and ready to assemble with smooth durable wall surfaces, a sealed plenum with suspended gasketed ceiling system, the required number of fan powered HEPA filter units, sealed clean room light fixtures, supply and relief registers, individual room pressure sensors with fan filter unit controllers, and Starrco's modular electric package. The modular electric package allowed the end user to make one final connection to the wall mounted load center to limit on-site installation time and cost.
As this completed system is considered a "once-thru" style clean room, the conditioned air is introduced from the facilities existing HVAC diffusers mounted directly above the modules. Air from the fan powered HEPA filter units mixes with the facilities conditioned air and provides a minimum of 30 air changes per hour within the compounding pharmacy. A final air flow test and balance procedure and Independent Certification guaranteed that the modules where in compliance with the guidelines as outlined in USP-797.
Bellingham Cold Storage
Bellingham Cold Storage (BCS) is a full-service public refrigerated warehousing company located in the US Pacific Northwest near the Canadian border. BCS stores and handles a wide variety of frozen and chilled products including seafood, vegetables, fruits, and meats. Besides warehousing, the company provides services such as freezing, boxing, sale of ice, ship loading / unloading, and cargo pooling.
Bellingham Cold Storage had been using old wooden totes to store frozen fish product in their freezer warehouse at 0 to -5oF. Years of being stored outside because of an inadequate amount of dry storage space were causing the totes to deteriorate. Deteriorating totes that were being constantly battered by forklifts made for high repair costs and in many cases increasing disposal costs. In addition, since the wooden totes had fixed walls, they took up a lot of what little valuable space was available while being stored empty. BCS was seeking a better solution for their product storage.
DACO was contacted in 2007 regarding the possibility of using their plastic collapsible containers as a replacement for their old wooden totes. In 2008, BCS purchased a small quantity of these containers from DACO to try out in their freezers with storing frozen fish. Over the next two years the containers proved to be a great solution as a replacement for the antiquated wooden ones. Realizing the potential savings in repair and disposal costs, BCS purchased 200 Buckhorn plastic collapsible containers in 2011 with the intention of eventually phasing out their inventory of their older wooden ones. They also were a better solution than cardboard totes since partially full totes would stack as well as full totes.
In addition to the reasonable initial investment cost, the Buckhorn collapsible containers have proven to be durable in a freezer environment with forklift handling. Repair has been drastically reduced due to their strength and there is no chance for splintering and splitting as with wood containers. Disposal cost has practically disappeared since all of the parts on these containers are available and easily replaceable. Since the disposal cost has disappeared, the replacement cost has been pretty much eliminated as well. Also, due to the high 1,600 pound load capacity, these containers provide a safety factor in being able to be stacked 5-high securely, even without lids. In addition they work better than the cardboard tote option in that they set up quickly and easily and are washable. Finally, since these containers collapse into a 2.6:1 ratio, they free up valuable storage space when empty.
“We have been very happy with these containers. They are easy to stack, store, setup and breakdown. Our employees really like the drop side option which allows easy access to the contents at the bottom of the container. They also have a great design that makes it easy to replace any damaged part quickly which has been a rare occurrence.”
Tim Unger, Squalicum Plant Manager, Bellingham Cold Storage
The Boeing Company
Boeing is a leading aerospace company and manufacturer of commercial jetliners and military aircraft, as well as a designer and manufacturer of rotorcraft, electronic and defense systems, missiles, satellites, launch vehicles and advanced information and communication systems. Their vast inventory of cutter tools used to manufacture their products, were stored in wooden trays, many purchased in the late 1970’s, some of which have had to be disposed of because of breakage or cracks found due to their age. They had two incidents in the past 6 months where the cutter trays had either snapped in two while being handled or had cracks through the tray. Boeing had also recently changed their storage requirements for the match ground sets and needed new trays that met these requirements.
There were many various sizes of these trays so they could only be stacked on the same size tray when being placed in the shipping container to go to Auburn for coating. This made it difficult to utilize the whole container. Handling of these trays was difficult as there were only notches in the side of the trays that allowed for only your finger tips to be used when picking up the trays, making them not very ergonomically friendly. Boeing contacted DACO to research new tote alternatives that met their requirements.
After researching what size and style tote would work best for Boeing, it was decided to go with one size tote and that the NSO1215-4 stackable plastic bin would be able to accommodate 95% of all the different match ground cutter sets. By going with one size bin, it would allow better utilization of space for cutters being sent to Auburn for coating. They are designed with ergonomic handles allowing for better gripping while lifting the cutters and stack and lock together securely for safe and stable storage or transport, meeting all of Boeings safety and ergonomic concerns. Because these plastic bins are a standard stock item for the manufacturer, the expense of costly dies was avoided. Boeing plans to start replacing all of the old unsafe trays with the NSO1215-4 plastic bin.
The Boeing Company
Boeing is a leading aerospace company and manufacturer of commercial jetliners and military aircraft, as well as a designer and manufacturer of rotorcraft, electronic and defense systems, missiles, satellites, launch vehicles and advanced information and communication systems. Their matched ground cutter sets used to manufacture their products were stored in wooden boxes designed to hold the sets. The weight of the cutter sets was 66 lbs., nearly twice the allowable weight limit of 35 lbs. that Boeing requires for safe lifting. In addition, the wooden box did not have handles for aiding in the safe lifting of the box. This was exposing the Tool Grind, Crib Attendants, 85-120 Operators and Auburn Tool Services to the hazard of having to lift these heavy sets.
It was decided by Boeing to no longer require the matched ground cutter sets be stored together in one box. Since their current wooden boxes did not support one piece flow, it was necessary to source and purchase totes to place the single cutters in that supported one piece flow. Boeing worked with DACO to find a plastic bin that could be inlayed with foam to help stabilize the cutters and had ergonomic handles for easier and safer handling.
It was decided that a footprint of 24” x 11” x 9” was the ideal size, but because an existing tote with those dimensions was not available, without incurring the cost of a new mold to manufacturer them, it was decided to take an existing plastic tote measuring 24” x 15” x 9” and cut and weld it to meet the necessary dimensions. The result was a 24” x 11” x 9” plastic bin with ergonomic handles and a foam insert that reduced the lifting weight from 66 lbs. to 34 lbs., bringing the single cutters into the safe lifting guidelines of Boeing.
Alliance Packaging / Sheets Unlimited Facility
Alliance Packaging is a well-known, independent corrugated box manufacturer with several facilities located throughout northwest United States. The company provides a full range of packaging solutions from custom shipping containers to retail packaging, from stock boxes to in-store displays, from creative design to same day delivery service. In 2008, Alliance needed to make room for the installation of a brand new multi-million dollar corrugated paper machine at their Sheets Unlimited facility.
Several decisions were made to accommodate machine installation. The company enclosed all power, air and water lines inside floor trenches so there would be no visual obstructions around the machine. They also moved walls, added conveyor lines and reorganized the entire building to complement the new machine. One of the more important decisions involved placement of the machine operator control room. Typically, these rooms are built at floor level next to the machine. Alliance did not believe a floor level operator control room would provide the best use of available space nor provide the best visibility of machine operations.
The company decided to elevate the control room 12 feet above the floor and suspend it over the corrugated paper machine.
The elevated control room optimized the field of vision for the operator and enhanced the overall appearance of the machine.
Engineering, design, fire suppression and complete installation were provided from start to finish.
The control room includes unconventionally angled windows so machine operators can see every movement of the corrugated paper machine.
The Garagetown Project
Federal Way, Washington
Following my retirement I began looking for ways to spend my time productively. I wanted a place where I could store my cars but also wanted someplace that could serve as a multipurpose facility supporting my hobbies and provide a place to "hang out" when necessary. Ultimately that meant the garage needed to be outfitted with an environment other than just a garage. I had decided a mezzanine would be the best way to provide the space utilization I was offer. As those thoughts jelled, I began the process of researching who, in this area, might be able to help with such a project. Another garage in the complex had built a mezzanine into their garage and, while it was a good solution, it still looked like a warehouse. My search of providers eventually narrowed to three local providers.
I dropped in at DACO one morning as part of my research....a true cold call. It was fortunate for me that Rich Fisher was in the office that morning as he was the representative servicing my region. I explained what I had in mind and was provided some thoughts at that time, with a commitment to visit my facility the next day. On the first visit we discussed my ideas, modified some of those based on recommendations provided by Mr. Fisher and agreed to have an estimate prepared. During this same period, I was working with the other local providers but none felt the necessity of visiting the site. Within a couple of days, Mr. Fisher again visited the site with a manufacturer's rep. Both took the time to understand my needs and could see my vision for what I wanted. Accommodations were made in the railing of the project to make it safe for my grandchildren to visit. Mr. Fisher was quick to point out that he would not be the cheapest bid, but that he would assure the project was done right and done to my satisfaction.
From the time we decided to proceed until the project was complete we never had any issues with Mr. Fisher at all. The permitting process was handled through Federal Way without issue. All subcontractors showed up on time and in every case their work was outstanding. The finished product is exactly what we wanted and has become a show case for other owners at Garagetown. DACO and Mr. Fisher delivered a completed project that truly represented best value for this very satisfied customer. Not only would I do business with them again, I highly recommend them to everyone that visits my "man cave".
A very satisfied customer,
Case parts is a distributor of specialized parts for all major commercial refrigeration manufacturers with branches in Los Angeles, CA, St. Louis, MO and Seattle, WA. A new building was purchased, in Kent, WA, by Case Parts for the Seattle Branch. By the time the required building remodeling and improvements where finished, the complete facility move was forced into a very tight time frame schedule.
Ownership decided that the best way to meet the deadline, but still be able to render proper service to their customers, was to leave all existing storage shelving and rack at their original facility in Renton, WA. This would allow them to remain open during the week, eliminating any “business day” down time, while they moved the entire branch, during a weekend. As a result, Case Parts would not incur any lost revenue due to down time and would also be capable of keeping their excellent customer service reputation intact with their customer base.
This would mean however, that they would have to order and have installed, new storage shelving for the new facility within 3 weeks. Kent, WA is a seismic zone 3 region that requires special engineering calculations and drawings. The permitting process for local authorities can also take an uncontrollable, and possibly an interminable amount of time.
The new distribution facility was inspected and approved Friday afternoon of the weekend of the move. All shelving was manufactured within an unusually short window and the installation crews worked extra hours to meet the deadline.