EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. --
More than $1 million in upgraded storage areas and technology opened 60,000 square feet of mission-essential storage space at the 96th Logistics Squadron’s warehouse here this year.
Improvements inside Bldg. 600 include a new freight elevator and tire carousels as well as 23 storage racks and 259 storage bins.
The necessary modernizations took a year-and-a-half to complete.
“We do a lot of shipping and receiving, so storage space is crucial," said Jacqueline Mitchell, warehouse central storage chief. “Our previous storage rack system was outdated. We made the upgrades and increased storage space to meet the base’s supply and demand needs. “
The warehouse has three storage areas: bulk storage, fast moving storage and sheet metal/random length storage.
The previous storage shelves rose almost 16 feet in the air toward the ceiling of the large warehouse. Airmen pulling a supply order drove mobile lifters with safety harnesses to retrieve items stored down the dimly lit the shelving aisles.
Now, that previously used space is two floors of easy-to-reach shelving with no equipment required except for extremely heavy items. The freight elevator moves large or bulk materials between the floors.
This update reduced order-processing times from 10 to just three minutes, which decreases customer wait times.
The four tire carousels are automated moving shelves that rotate top to bottom and front to back. The movement of the carousels is similar to a rotisserie or Ferris wheel. Storing tires on the rotating shelves instead on the warehouse floor allowed for a 70% recovery of floor space.
“With a push of a button, tires are brought to the user,” Mitchell said. “It greatly increases our on-site tire delivery capability in a safe manner.”
The carousel also eliminated the need for equipment-based retrieval methods when maneuvering the heavy, bulky vehicle and aircraft tires. The tire carousel stores tires from 28 to 44 inches wide and holds approximately 350 tires.
Over the next two years, bulk storage and the sheet metal area will receive upgrades in new shelving and new wire and rod carousels.
The warehouse modernizations created a safer environment and better operations, according to Kevin Partlow, 96th LRS deputy commander.
“We are able to fulfill supply requirements faster, reducing customer wait times and supporting Team Eglin’s weapon test mission,” he said. “Can’t fly without supply.”