• Drive-in racking at Cristal
  • Drive-in racking at Cristal
  • Drive-in racking at Cristal

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Drive-in racking ensures compact, flexible storage at Cristal

Cristal is the world’s 2nd biggest producer of titanium dioxide and a global market leader in titanium. The company provides various products and services to a large number of processing firms the world over, with the focus on titanium pigments. For instance, Cristal’s titanium dioxide is used in thousands of finished products, ranging from plastic bags to aeroplanes.

The company has production plants in many countries, spread over 5 continents. Cristal Belgium is located in Willebroek. A surface area of ca. 5,000 m² has been laid out there and equipped for the storage and re-packing of titanium dioxide, a white pigment in powder form that is vitally important in the production of paints, plastics and paper. The powder is stored in 1000, 500 or 25 kg big-bags, which are stacked on pallets.

From February till September 2010, Stow installed, at Cristal’s warehouse, a high-quality system with drive-in racking according to the LIFO principle (Last-in, First-out). In this single side drive-in racking, every rack is loaded from the bottom to the top and from the back to the front. To remove the pallets, they do all that the other way round. The system has its advantages: a limited number of forklift aisles and compact and safe, vertically-aligned block stacking. The result is that the available space is used to the max.

Owing to the use of overhanging big-bags, it was necessary to build wider aisles, equipped with special cantilevers and girders. Stow recommended the use of these specific sizes so that the different kinds of pallets would fit in every rack. Crucial too was the use of galvanized side guides, so as to prevent the big-bags from getting stuck behind the uprights and to stop them from keeling over.

Cristal Global uses batch sizes of 25 pallet spaces. Each row is 5 high and 5 deep and the two types of pallets have to fit into that space. Stow’s system provides the desired flexibility as regards combinations, even though there are few product types and everything enters and leaves the warehouse per batch. A second advantage which should not be underestimated is, of course, the huge space saving.

Stow also catered to Cristal’s needs by ensuring that all shelves are at the same height. Thanks to the shelves at exactly the same height, the forklift trucks can operate with pre-programmed loading heights. That is very handy, it saves a great deal of time and also minimizes the risk of damage.

Cristal particularly appreciated Stow because of the flexibility and responsiveness with regard to modifications, not to mention the speedy execution. Another client who is more than satisfied with the result.

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