The company was founded in 1874 in Glasgow by John Craig Peacock, an agent on small ships whose resourcefulness led to the company’s fast growth, today one of the most important entities in English salts exportation. Despite the bulk of its business regarding keeping roads clear during the winter, the company also deals with water softening, cosmetics, and household and industrial salt products.
In the 2000s, the company created a large warehouse at their headquarters in Ayr, used for the storage of salt bags for food use, loaded onto wooden pallets. The warehouse was entirely made up of gravity rollers conveyors and racking providing 937 pallet spaces, 4 levels high. However, the process of loading and unloading pallets of salt onto and off the pallet racking had taken its toll, with split bags quickly eroding rollers and bearings, as well as the racking structure itself. The corrosion of the rollers within the racking had caused the most operational problems: incidents of pallets sticking out into the middle of aisles, rollers seized and pallets veering off the designated path, and damage caused to the bags of salt and pallets.
Peacock Salt needed a racking system without rollers, that could withstand the difficult operating environment and the corrosiveness of the salt products. The Autosat solution proposed by Automha seemed immediately a winner: the use of a semi-automatic vector significantly reduces pallets’ bumps and stresses and, consequently, keeps the bags of salt intact. Furthermore, the Autosat solution makes greater use of the warehouse interior spaces, with no need to tilt the plane of storage, and creates 5 levels of shelving; 1118 pallet spots were created with an increase in capacity of 14%. The configuration of facing out the side of the pallet of a length of 1200m instead of 1000 made this possible, leaving the pallet with four free sides. The company had 5 personnel trained on shuttle operation and maintenance and issued a set of housekeeping procedures for its use, care, and cleaning.
Peacock Salt is very enthusiastic about the ease of the shuttle’s application, the greater warehouse capacity, the automated counting of the stored goods, and especially the significant reduction of problems within the storage aisles.