Two orders per second, downtime at distribution centres could be catastrophic

Power Control
22 Sep 2020

The nations superstores continue to be under immense strain. The global pandemic has resulted in the fastest growth rate for supermarkets since records began. According to market research firm, Kantar, the sector grew by an unprecedented 16.9% in Q2, with stock piling accounting for a great proportion of this growth. The ramifications of Covid-19 have not only affected instore behaviours but also online ones. These, culminated with complex and inconsistent supply chains have had a significant impact on operational infrastructures.

Thankfully, over recent years the industry has upped its investment in automated processes, which along with the addition of 136,000 new staff* has helped to keep Britain’s biggest supermarket chains going. However, the shift towards online shopping shows no sign of slowing and will need superstores to continue to invest heavily in technology and automation.

Earlier this year, The Grocer reported that Tesco had doubled its online capacity to reach 1.2 million per week, an average of two orders per second. Tesco, like many other retailers, has already fast tracked plans to meet an aggressive 24/7 buying culture. In 2019 the company announced that it would create 25 highly automated fulfilment centres by 2022.

Power Control Ltd has already started work on several new emergency power solution installs at distribution centres and has seen a prominent rise in backup power upgrades and replacements. Ensuring a continuous supply of power is more critical than ever before. Facilities cannot afford any unplanned downtime and UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) systems help mitigate this risk.

Not only do existing power protection strategies need to be reviewed but provisions need to be put in place for future load capacity. With the introduction of more robotics and automation on the horizon, Power Control is already helping distribution centres evaluate their needs and is giving best recommendations that address both current requirements and long term TCO (total cost of ownership).

In terms of the scope for placement for UPS systems within the retail market, it is vast. From small desktop UPS systems to support EPOS and CCTV, through to 6-10kVA solutions which are often used for production and packing lines. Even larger systems 60kVA and upwards are typically recommended to support entire electrical infrastructures.

It is the latter that Power Control has seen most recent activity with many distribution hubs and supporting data centres. It has supplied and installed countless CertaUPS C550R and C400R UPS systems into server racks and positioned numerous three phase Borri Ingenio UPS systems.

Power Control has worked with retail outlets and distribution centres for nearly 30 years and has extensive knowledge of the entire electrical path. Working with leading contractors and consultants, Power Control offers complete project management from initial consultation through to design, install and maintenance.


For more information about Power Control’s UPS solutions and project services, please contact 01246431431 or to find out more about the company’s other emergency backup products and services, please visit