VNA-Ready Floors: Future-Proofing Distribution Centers

Prologis, in conjunction with Winvic Construction and industrial flooring specialist Stanford, developed a new approach to warehouse floors that enables our customers to improve the efficiency of their distribution operations at minimal cost. The method, known as “VNA-ready” concrete flooring, was installed at DC1 and DC7 at Prologis Park Ryton in the UK. This forward-looking innovation is a test for Prologis UK.

The Challenge

With growing pressure to shorten delivery times across the logistics industry, companies seek to increase the number of pallet positions in warehouses by using taller, narrower aisle and very narrow aisle (VNA) storage systems. VNA systems typically use wire or rail-guided forklifts that require tight tolerances in floor flatness.

Conventional FM2 warehouse floors allow forklifts to move in any direction, which is ideal for block stacking and wide aisle racking, but VNA systems require floors that comply with more stringent defined movement (DM) specifications. Formerly, if a tenant did not know when a VNA system might be needed, they had two options: Specify DM flooring during the construction stage in anticipation of VNA needs—which involves a longer build time, plus increased construction and maintenance costs—or convert an FM2 to a DM floor. The latter is expensive to implement, maintain and ultimately remediate when the tenant has to re-instate the original flooring at the end of the lease.

The Solution

Realizing that most customers will need VNA systems during some stage of occupancy, Prologis, Winvic and Stanford developed a VNA-ready floor that increases warehouse adaptability and minimizes occupancy costs. The approach changes the traditional square slab to a rectangle with dimensions that are easier to lay and level, ensuring the overall flatness required for VNA forklift trucks. These new floor slabs fit between building columns exactly, so there are no floor joints, which can damage a VNA truck’s tires, along any of the main aisles.

VNA-Ready floors

Rectangular slabs are easy to smooth and can accommodate floor flatness required for rail-guided VNA forklift trucks.

 

For customers, VNA-ready floors offer peace of mind. They are suitable for general block stacking and wide aisle racking, but they also adapt to narrow or very narrow aisle systems quickly—with little or no additional work and expense.

Read more about how Prologis works to ensure the efficiency of our customers supply chains, both today and in the future.

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