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Apex Linvar

Location:Milton Keynes
Client:Racking and shelving producers

Apex Linvar, one of the UK's leading racking companies was looking replacing an ageing fleet with 2.0 tonnes Doosan counterbalance and two Combilifts. For those it turned to local Doosan dealer, Midland Fork Lifts.

Scope of work:

It’s not the fittest that survive, to paraphrase Charles Darwin, but those that can adapt.

One of the UK’s leading racking and shelving producers, Apex Linvar, know this well, being prime specimen in the challenging environment that is UK manufacturing. Rolling mills, automatic welding systems and presses, painting lines, stores and distribution are all ensconced away behind an unassuming façade at its 40,000m2 manufacturing base in Milton Keynes.

With over 60 years’ experience in the design, manufacture and installation of storage and handling systems. The company is extremely proud of the professional service delivered to all customers, regardless of their size, and provides not only racking and shelving solutions, but a raft of value added services such as site surveys, installation inspections and project management.

Counting Amazon, Sainsbury’s, P&O Ferries, Dunlop, Good Year and Argos amongst its many customers, Apex Linvar specialises in high yield steel products, such as adjustable pallet racking, that add versatility and high levels of utilisation to warehousing projects.

Like many Apex has had to adapt to the new tougher economic trading conditions, but continued growth and a strong reliance on its forklift fleet, meant they were keen to improve their material handling provision. A deal brokered between LINPAC Group and Chamonix Private Equity LLP in early 2011, meant the business formerly know as LINPAC Storage Systems was re-born as Apex Linvar.

With business booming and a new sense of purpose, the company set about replacing an ageing fleet with 2.0 tonnes Doosan counterbalance and two Combilifts. For those it turned to local Doosan dealer, Midland Fork Lifts. “We had to be patient” says Managing Director, Simon Lewis. “Any business that is going through a change in structure or ownership will usually be growing and keen to get the equipment in place, but they had to consider the forthcoming changes. After two years of careful considerations, we were finally able to provide the new trucks to a delighted team.”

The move was welcomed by the whole business, says Manufacturing Engineering Manager, Simon Smith: “The new trucks not only represent how we’ve advanced, but also our growing confidence and how we are well placed for the future. From a practical perspective, the equipment is very important to the business, we need to ensure our reliability and productivity rates are top notch.”

To address Health & Safety concerns, the new Doosans come with a wealth of safety features and carry a keyless ignition system. Semi-cabs provide the appropriate amount of protection form the elements for those operating inside and out, whilst gas power gives a clean air solution without sacrificing productivity. The ultra-sonic gas sensors also monitor gas use and a small modification by Midland engineers adds a petrol-gauge style display to the operator dashboard.

With 124 people currently on site, continuous improvement and people development is a characteristic of the business. Bringing some of those thought processes to the new fleet made a great deal of sense says Simon: During our discussions with Midland, a number of issues emerged that we felt the added features would improve upon. We could also get a better indication of how the fleet is being used – happily that turned out to be the case and we now feel we are working at peak efficiency. “

Midland’s level of customer service has been excellent. It helps that they understand our business and have worked with us to provide the maximum amount of flexibility, and what we need from our trucks. It also helps that they are local and we can call them anytime we need advice, service backup or any other issues.”

And now with turnover in excess of £23m, and the business in full flow, far from being intimidated by it, the company is rightly proud of its British manufacturing status. Concludes Simon: We sell direct via our product catalogue and through our network of dealers. We’re well placed to observe UK manufacturing, in many instances its highly advanced and well positioned for future growth, much like ourselves.”


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