Case study

Keeping a watchful eye on rack collisions

Vaillant is one of Europe’s leading heating technology manufacturers and it is driven by a culture of thinking ahead. It introduced RackEye it at its state-of-the-art warehouse facilities in Belper, Derbyshire (UK). The results have been compelling – and were felt almost immediately.

RackEye Case Study - Vaillant UK
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Vaillant is Europe’s second largest manufacturer in the heating technology sector. Its UK operation in Belper, Derbyshire is home to a high-tech manufacturing facility and a 2,400 square-meters warehouse. The company places a strong emphasis on employee safety and already uses A-SAFE guardrails extensively throughout both its factory and warehouse. It immediately recognized RackEye’s potential for improving warehouse safety, “We are quite an innovative plant and we are always looking for new technologies and new ways to raise the bar,” says Adrian Ancliff, Head of Production, Logistics and Scheduling at Belper.

"We’ve seen a 75 percent reduction in impacts ..."


A new era in rack safety

Following a site survey and more detailed discussions with Ancliff and his team about their requirements, A-SAFE installed the RackEye system in the Vaillant warehouse. In the eight months it has been operational, the team in Belper has already seen significant benefits, “We’ve seen a 75 percent reduction in impacts across the legs where we’ve been trialing it,” Ancliff says.

Data-driven improvements

The data from RackEye has helped Vaillant to make improvements within the warehouse, as well as address layout problems and racking issues, “We’re getting really good data from the KPI reporting; we get regular alerts through the SMS messages. If problematic areas arise, we’re doing something about it.” Ancliff recalls that early on in the project, RackEye was regularly reporting impacts on a certain rack. He flagged the issue with his team, who informed him of a long-term problem with some damaged mesh decking on a shelf that kept catching. The decking was subsequently replaced, and the problem never occurred again, “Without RackEye, I don’t think we would have picked up on that.”

Part of the daily routine

According to Ancliff, members of his team have embraced the RackEye system and made it part of their daily routine, “By getting them involved early and making them aware of it from day one, they have really taken ownership of it. They really understand the benefits of the system.” Besides identifying issues within the warehouse, individuals within the team are using the monthly KPI reporting to identify areas where they can improve their own performance.

Changing driver behavior

Another benefit has been a general change in driver behavior since RackEye was installed. Drivers know that the instant an impact is detected on the rack, an alert will be triggered, and the data will show precisely where and when it occurred. The sensor units fitted to rack legs also serve as a visual reminder to take greater care, “It’s very interesting now if you walk in in the morning and an alert has gone off,” says Ancliff. “The team are now coming in and saying, ‘Have you had a RackEye alert? Because it was me.’”

"We can only say positive things about the benefits it’s had."

Building on success

RackEye has been hugely positive for warehouse operations in Belper, as well as for the entire warehouse and logistics team. It has also captured the interest of senior management and other operations across the Vaillant Group, “It’s almost become part of the showcase when we show customers around.”

The Logistics and Scheduling team at Vaillant is eager to build upon the success of the RackEye trial and roll it out to other racks within the facility, “We really want to increase the number of legs that we’ve got across the plant,” Ancliff says. “We can say only positive things about the benefits it’s had.”

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