State of the art lean lifts boost Thetford’s Vanilla Electronics


A Thetford electronics firm has invested £200,000 in state-of-the-art technology to help it sustain its rapid growth.

Vanilla Electronics, which provides supply chain and manufacturing services for global technology firms in the Cambridge cluster and beyond, has completed the installation of state-of-the-art, automated warehousing equipment to drive efficiencies at its technology centre on Thetford’s Mundford Road trading estate.

The two 9.6m tall lean lifts – intelligent automated tower storage units – automatically pick components for a specific product, allowing the operator to focus on the main product or kit assembly and not the time-consuming picking of individual materials. Installing the new equipment has also resulted in cleared valuable floor space previously dedicated to traditional rack storage, improving the flow of activities, productivity and Vanilla’s own capacity to take on more work.

A £200,000 package from HSBC UK Relationship Director, Jamie Bignal, helped the company fund the purchases.

Dan Croft, managing director of Vanilla Electronics, said: “Having the lifts installed has already given us immediate benefits. The lifts have sped up the overall component picking process, giving the assemblers more time to focus on their core roles. It has resulted in happier staff, higher quality output, higher throughput, quicker delivery and the capacity to increase volumes. All of this will grow the company’s reputation and appeal to those customers who do not have the same warehouse capacity, automation or as efficient in-house systems.

“HSBC’s funding has meant that our proposition is even more attractive to customers looking to outsource their supply chain activities, helping expand our business with both new and existing customers.”

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