Mar 14, 2014
Shawn DeCrow, Director of Operations at Aerospace Products International (API)
recently took TEAM.Aero through the API Global Distribution warehouse facility
which is based in Southaven, MS located less than 3 miles south of the Memphis International Airport.
Aerospace Products International (API) - Founded in 1988, API is a provider of distribution, supply chain & MRO services for the aviation industry. API is OEM-authorized to distribute aircraft parts and accessories to manufacturers, maintenance providers and operators of some of the most widely used military, commercial, corporate & general aviation aircraft. API offers worldwide customer service with 24x7x365 regional distribution facilities in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, ClarkFZ, Philippines and ShanghaiWFTZ, China.
When driving into the parking lot of the warehouse, the API building looks massive and after walking through the office area to the 5.5 million cubic feet, “Class A” warehouse, it is truly an impressive site. Heating and air conditioning make the warehouse safe for its contents year around.
This cross-docking facility showed a continuous flow from the receiving inspection area on the east end of the building to the shipping doors on the west side. The intermediate storage areas combine narrow isle and wide isle racking, carousels and floor storage areas, plus dedicated areas for quarantine, put-away staging, hazardous materials storage, refrigerated storage, frozen storage, kitting, Quality Inspection, and DAR inspection. API’s facilities meet all of the space and storage requirements described in the RFP.
The security features were truly impressive in the six specialized areas of storage comprised of, Compressed Gases & Aerosols, Corrosive Material, Flammables, Tire Storage and Refrigerator & Freezer Storage. They also have natural risk mitigation.
Security of API property (including customer property in
API’s physical control) is provided 24 hours per day via on-
duty API employees or monitoring by a Fire and Burglary
alarm system. All API facilities are controlled by Card Access doors and employees at API’s Global Distribution Center use only one entrance door in order to minimize unauthorized entry. All dock doors can only be opened from the inside of the building and feature high-decibel audible alarms that trigger at each opening, day or night, to alert API employees of potential intruders. All API facilities utilize video surveillance in warehouse spaces and in parking lots for additional security. A dedicated diesel generator provides back-up power to both of API’s Memphis-area facilities in case of power outages.
Environmental, Health & Safety Features
API’s Global Distribution Center is environmentally controlled, keeping environmental factors within a temperature range of 60oF (15oC) to 77oF (25oC).
Furthermore, the API Global Distribution Center houses numerous, separate Dangerous Goods, Hazardous Materials (“HazMat”) and other specialty storage areas:
- Compressed Gases & Aerosols: aerosol cans, oxygen generators, and other compressed gases are stored in a special area that features floor-to-ceiling fencing to contain potential projectiles created by damaged canisters. Additionally, as some product in this area are also flammable, racking in the Aerosols Room includes an in-rack sprinkler system to spray water directly on the affected product in case of fire.
- Corrosive Material: product containing battery acids and other corrosive material are stored in a separate room that features a 2-hour fire wall, a 2- hour water curb (to contain water from the sprinkler system), and a fuse-link door that slams shut in the event of fire to keep fire hazards from spreading to other warehouse areas.
- Flammables: all other flammable Hazardous Materials are housed in a special room that is always cooled to 60oF (15oC) to 65oF (18oC). This room also features in-rack sprinklers, a 2-hour water curb, 2-hour fire walls, and a fuse- link door. Additionally, this room has a drop-ceiling with fire-retardant panels to keep toxic fumes, smoke, and fire from escaping upward.
Flammables Room storage racks at API’s Global Distribution Center, featuring in-rack sprinkler system
- Tire Storage: all rubber tires are stored in specially designed racks that allow direct sprinkler access to all product, eliminating the “watershed” effect of normal tire-racking seen in retail stores. Furthermore, the racks are approved by local fire authorities as they provide the ability for fire personnel to quickly dismantle the entire rack assembly, bringing all sources of fires to the ground for easy access.
- Refrigerator & Freezer Storage: numerous chemicals in API’s control require lower temperatures in order to preserve shelf-life. API stores such items in dedicated refrigerators and freezers.
Each of these Dangerous Goods and HazMat areas are designed to protect all other inventory in API’s possession by containing potential material issues in the specified area. API’s Global Distribution Center is used as the standard against which the local fire and safety authorities measure other companies. Additionally, API’s safety-focus has convinced insurance companies to offer API lower liability and property insurance rates.
Natural Risks Mitigation
In addition to the above-mentioned protections against intruders and material hazards, API’s facilities feature storage bins and racking that are fully certified to withstand seismic events and other natural disasters such as tornados and tropical storms. Furthermore, API’s Memphis-area facilities are powered by two independent diesel generators to ensure uninterrupted power supply in the event of strong storms or other natural disasters.
TEAM.Aero Community Members can access the Aerospace Products International company profile and members by clicking here
Source: API and TEAM.Aero