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Issue 5




Helping you get the best out of your DC

AUTOMATING libraries

First automated library takes off down under

Product review

News, technology and software update


LIFTING PRODUCTIVITY AND SAFETY FOR NESTLE´ JCPenney: USA Bosch Rexroth: GERMANY Variable speed conveyor sorts out crossdocking

Space efficient Multishuttle buffer store lifts order assembly productivity


Creating Logistics Results

Helping you get the of your logistics op Welcome to Issue 5 of our global customer magazine, Dematic Logistics Review. In this issue we bring you logistics systems case studies from North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific, and update you on the latest innovations from our very busy R&D teams.

We know, because you tell us it’s true, that Dematic Service is a key benefit that our company brings to your business. Of that, we are very proud.

We will show you examples of solutions provided for retailers, manufacturers, and food and beverage producers, and illustrate the benefits of the intelligent application of technology, controls and software.

Our cover story features a world first application of Dematic’s FreePick Maximiser software in a robotic layer picking operation.

We also have a very interesting case study about an automated library solution for Macquarie University – the first in Australia. In particular, we will focus on new offerings from our Customer Service group. As we all know, service and support is essential to businesses for whom an efficient supply chain is a critical competitive strategy.



By pairing compatible orders, our patented software makes it possible to process up to 50% of stock for orders without actually handling it. Recently, our global management team met in Shanghai, the commercial capital of the world, to discuss ways in which we can continue growing our business to serve you better. A range of topics were covered and reviewed, producing the following key outcomes:

Contents Cover Story: Nestlé, Australia Case Study: Alloga Burgdorf, Switzerland Delivering Service Effectiveness Case Study: JCPenney, USA Case Study: Bosch Rexroth, Germany Case Study: Suncoast, USA Case Study: Macquarie University, Australia News, Product, Technology & Software

4-6 7-9 10-12 13-15 16-17 18-19 20-21 22-23

About Dematic Dematic is one of the world’s leading suppliers of logistics automation systems and solutions. As a systems integrator, Dematic delivers a full range of technologies and services, from individual products and systems to complete turnkey solutions as a general contractor, as well as complete after-sales support and service. Dematic provides automated material handling products, systems and solutions for retail and wholesale distribution, consumer direct, grocery, food and beverage, and manufacturing industries. Dematic’s products and services are based on a tradition of industry expertise that the company has acquired over decades of commitment worldwide. Globally the company employs around 4,000 people.

he best out perations 24/7 • We recognise that the only future certainty is change, so we considered product and system designs that will provide modular, scalable and flexible solutions, while at the same time lowering your lifecycle cost of ownership

We investigated these things in great detail because they are essential to meeting our aggressive global growth targets. We have already started the process of developing action plans, and expect to see developments in the field that will give you a better result.

• We also believe that time and the ability to accelerate ideas and goods through the supply chain is an important strategic trend, so we investigated new procedures and processes to ensure your projects are available and performing for you in the shortest practical time

The reason I am sharing this with you, is because I want you to challenge our system designers, project managers and service teams to engage with you and demonstrate the advances that I am confident we will make.

• And finally, because your logistics systems are designed to deliver competitive advantage, we investigated exciting new ways to ensure your future performance in a rapidly changing world through our customer service division.

We seek your feedback to confirm we are on the right track. I am confident that Dematic will continue to provide outstanding logistics solutions in all areas of your business.

Roar Isaksen, President & CEO, Dematic

Roar Isaksen, President & CEO, Dematic



COVER STORY Nestlé Australia Limited Sydney, Australia

eliminating 4 million manual case picks each year for Nestlé An innovative robotic layer picking solution has eliminated the need to manually pick over four million cases and assemble layers manually, significantly improving the quality and productivity of mixed pallet assembly at Nestlé Australia’s national distribution centre (DC) at Arndell Park in Sydney. 4


Pallet Layer Picking Automated robotic order assembly

Nestlé’s high volume DC stores and distributes several hundred stock keeping units (SKUs) from Nestlé’s consumer food and beverage, food service and pet food businesses.

Nestlé's Operations Performance Manager Mark Massoud with DC Manager David McLellan collecting one of three awards the project received at the 2011 Australian Supply Chain and Logistics Awards.

The high demand for Nestlé’s leading household brands means most of the DC’s orders – around 80% – are distributed as full pallets. Picking the remaining 20% of orders – which are distributed in pallet layer and full case quantities – has involved the manual handling of around five million cases per year, creating a significant and ongoing occupational health and safety (OH&S) challenge. Nestlé’s innovative layer picking solution eliminates the need to manually handle around four million of those cases. The layer picking system achieves very high throughput thanks to Dematic’s FreePick Maximiser patented software. By cross-matching orders and pairing those with compatible order profiles, FreePick Maximiser enables around 20% – in some instances up to 50% – of goods for orders to be distributed without them being physically picked.

A safer, smarter solution to picking layers Orders from Nestlé’s SAP warehouse management system are downloaded into Dematic’s PickDirector warehouse control system to initiate picking, with it ordering the stock required for layer picking in the sequence required to fulfil the next wave of orders. This is retrieved from adjacent bays of reserve storage by RF-directed forklifts and loaded onto the induction conveyor spur. As pallets are fed into the layer picker, they are scanned, and the control system directs the operator to remove the required amount of stretchwrapping from the pallet. The pallet is then conveyed into the layer picker where it will go direct to one of four pick locations, or, if it is not immediately required, into one of eight buffer storage locations serviced by an automated pallet cart. While the software requests pallets to arrive at the layer picker in a particular sequence to suit order assembly, the reality is that pallets occasionally turn up out of sequence. The buffer storage locations enable such pallets to be temporarily stored online within the layer picker until required. As new pallets of stock are fed into the system, the layer picker selects the required layers and transfers the stock to one of four customer order pallets. Any stock remaining on a pallet either forms the basis for another order via the system’s FreePick Maximiser software, or is returned to the adjacent reserve storage for use at a later stage. Building stable rainbow and sandwich pallets With the supply chain running leaner, there is a general trend towards ordering smaller quantities of goods such as layers, rather than full pallets, or cases rather than layers. Many customers also require pallets to be built in a certain way to suit further processing. To maximise pallet building flexibility, the layer picking system has four order picking positions, which enables up to four orders to be picked concurrently. An empty pallet location accommodates the production of multiple layer sandwich pallets. The 4-axis robotic layer picker is equipped with dual bellows and a vacuum-gripping head capable of handling up to 80% of Nestlé’s product range, covering a broad range of packaging types from cartons to bags and bottled beverages. When the robot is directed to pick up a layer, the bellows inflate and close around the product creating a seal. The vacuum exerts just enough pressure to pick up the layer, minimising the potential for product damage during handling. The vacuum gripper head offers the maximum versatility in product handling, making it suitable for picking layers from any pallet stacking pattern, even those that have a hole in the middle.



COVER STORY Nestlé Australia Limited Sydney, Australia

Pallet Layer Picking Automated robotic order assembly

Dematic Robotic Layer Picking system overview Completed orders are conveyed through the integrated layer picking system being checkweighed, stretchwrapped and labelled on the way, until they exit ready for collection and transport to despatch by forklift. Orders that require further case picks to be added to the layers exit the system, where a barcode label is attached prior to their retrieval by forklift. After the required case picks have been completed using the DC’s new voice picking system, the pallet is reinducted onto the system, checkweighed, stretchwrapped and labelled for despatch. Superior pallet build quality improves transport utilisation, with less handling damage and fewer returns. Voice picking a sound solution for case picking

To maximise pallet building flexibility, the layer picking system has four order picking positions, enabling up to four orders to be picked concurrently. An empty pallet station accommodates the production of multiple layer sandwich pallets. Full pallets of stock are fed direct to one of the pick locations or to an online buffer. After picking for an order is complete, the pallet is automatically stretchwrapped and labelled for despatch.

How Dematic FreePick Maximiser picks layers for free

The introduction of voice-directed computing has also improved the safety of Nestlé’s remaining manual case picking requirements. Nestlé’s forklift operators now wear a small headset and a lightweight, voice computer attached to their waist. The workers simply listen and respond to clear, verbal commands instructing them where to go and what to pick. A significant advantage of voice-directed computing for order picking is that it leaves the user’s hands and eyes free at all times, making handling and picking cartons faster and safer. Project outcomes • Eliminates the need to manually pick and handle 4,000,000+ cases/year



• Significantly reduces forklift operations and the OH&S risks associated with manual layer picking, creating a safer workplace • Integrated IT systems including SAP WMS, Dematic PickDirector WCS, FreePick Maximiser and Vocollect voice picking enable fast, accurate and reliable operations

Donor Pallet

• World first FreePick Maximiser enables 20% – sometimes up to 50% – of case pick orders to be shipped without picking

Put Pallet

Total stock for two orders (5xLayers)

• Superior pallet build quality for improved transport utilisation, less product damage and returns • Reduces distribution operating costs



FreePick Maximiser identifies that two orders require a total of five layers of the same SKU (2+3). Simply picking two layers from the donor pallet for the first order, leaves behind the three layers of stock required by the second order, creating a FreePick.



• Rapid payback: Estimated 3.5 year ROI. The ingenuity of the project was recognised by the Supply Chain and Logistics Association of Australia (SCLAA) at the 2011 Australian Supply Chain & Logistics Awards, with Nestlé winning the SCLAA’s Manufacturing Logistics, Storage and Handling of Materials, and Supply Chain Management Awards.

ALLOGA AG Burgdorf, switzerland

GOODS-TO-PERSON ergonomic split case PICKING

Multishuttle optimises 3PL distribution for ALLOGA

An innovative, futureoriented goods-toperson (GTP) order picking solution has enabled Swiss pharmaceutical company and 3PL provider Alloga to improve productivity, capacity and safety, while reducing errors and operating costs.



ALLOGA AG Burgdorf, switzerland

A Dematic Multishuttle® is the heart of Alloga’s goods-to-person (GTP) order picking system. Safety and efficiency are assigned the highest priority at Alloga AG. Founded in 1957, the Swiss company provides 3PL services for many well known partners, supplying wholesalers, doctors and pharmacies. “Warehousing has been concentrated at our Burgdorf site for the past decade,” explained Alloga’s Logistics Manager, Peter Freiburghaus.

A Multishuttle system tailored to suit Alloga’s order processing requirements has improved picking productivity, throughput and accuracy.

Over that time, the 3PL’s supply chain has become much more demanding, with customers placing increasing numbers of orders for smaller quantities of items. “In light of increasing quantities of minimum volume orders, we were looking for a future-oriented solution to automate goods-to-person (GTP) picking to generate immediate financial benefits, and that would also offer us the ability to accommodate further growth,” said Mr Freiburghaus. “Dematic presented an innovative solution based on using Multishuttle® as an automated order picking buffer, an attractive price/performance ratio and long-term investment security,” he said.

Alloga’s distribution challenge Each year, the Burgdorf DC processes more than 420,000 orders, comprising around 60 million units. “Based on the Multishuttle, we were able to develop and present a concept for Alloga tailored precisely to the 3PL provider’s needs,” said Dematic’s Peter Spycher. “The solution offers the required performance for the anticipated throughput, numerous cost advantages and also includes modular expansion options capable of doubling the existing container management capacity, which leaves Alloga well placed for further long term growth.”

The space-efficient Multishuttle houses more than 8,000 containers in a twoaisle, double-deep configuration, and provides scope for further growth.

Stocks of 10,000+ different products are stored in the central warehouse. After incoming goods have been checked for put-away, they are entered into the IT system, and sampling and approval processes carried out where appropriate. Multishuttle handles split case orders Orders requiring less than full case quantities are now processed by the DC’s Multishuttle system, which houses about 2,500 products across a total of 8,320 container storage spaces in the twoaisle, double deep system. The Captive Multishuttle at Alloga is serviced by 20 Multishuttle cars – one for each of the ten storage levels in each aisle. They ensure fast access to the containers, with the outward process of up to 800 containers per hour to the order picking workstations contractually guaranteed,” said Mr Spycher. “Much higher throughput rates can be achieved than were previously possible using conventional picking strategies,” he added.



GOODS-TO-PERSON ergonomic split case PICKING

Dematic presented an innovative solution based on using Multishuttle as an automated order picking buffer, an attractive price/performance ratio and long-term investment security.

Automated order picking All operations are carried out automatically. The order picking process is initiated by Alloga’s warehouse management system (WMS). Controlled by Dematic’s material flow system, the required containers are accessed in the Multishuttle. The smart Multishuttle follows optimised goods outwards strategies, sequencing picking by product group and by product characteristics, such as, “liquid”, “light” or “heavy,” with no loss in performance. For order picking, the employees move the transferred article containers onto a set of scales. A display shows the order picker the quantity of items that needs to be picked and transferred to the appropriate customer container. In this process, up to four different customer containers can be open for order picking on each order picking workstation. After the order picker has acknowledged the process, the open containers are transported back into the warehouse. At the same time, further containers are removed from the system for order picking.

Peter Freiburghaus, Logistics Manager, Alloga AG

Around 1,800 orders are processed and shipped using these methods each day in the central Alloga warehouse, with the trend for orders requiring less than case quantities on the rise. Future-proof design Dematic has taken future expansion into account in the system design for Alloga. For example, the Multishuttle installation is designed for future system expansion with an additional ten levels.

The Multishuttle delivers 800+ containers per hour to the order picking workstations, optimising productivity and accuracy.

This means that the warehouse volume could be doubled within the same basic area, without substantial modifications to the warehouse layout and processes. “A logistics system that masters every challenge and provides cost-effective solutions,” summed up Mr Freiburghaus. “This applies equally to the services we provide to our partners and customers, and to the Dematic solution for small volume order picking.”

Minimising errors Completed customer containers are transported to packing stations where orders are checked and prepared for despatch. Packages are then consolidated on pallets or roller containers and prepared for shipping. “Thanks to this process optimisation, we were able to reduce our error rate considerably,” stated Mr Freiburghaus. “The checking and safety measures integrated multiple times over in the order picking system not only support the order picking processes, they also enable consistent monitoring and, where necessary, restrict access to sensitive pharmaceutical items.”




DEMATIC SERVICE Giving your dc A competitive EDGE Most successful businesses make promises about the availability of their products through creative marketing programs. The responsibility of delivering on the promise falls fairly and squarely in the lap of the supply chain team. It’s not an easy job to get the right product to the right place, in good condition, just when the customer wants to buy… but someone has to do it.

To meet these lofty business objectives many companies make substantial investments in stateof-the-art DCs with specialised automation interfaced with sophisticated controls and software. They depend on reliability to achieve their targets week-in, week-out over the life of the system. But as any logistics professional will tell you there are traps and pitfalls. Unexpected peaks in demand, changes in product profiles, errors in picking or despatch and – despite the fact that most modern systems are highly reliable – mechanical, electrical, controls or software malfunctions can affect performance. At Dematic, we place great emphasis on finding new ways to increase your uptime, optimise system performance and ensure you meet your customer’s highest expectations. Our aim is to help you turn your logistics and distribution into a powerful competitive strategy. Our service organisation can tailor a highly responsive service and support strategy to precisely match your performance objectives. Field Service and Support Dematic directly employs field service and support personnel. Available around the clock, 365 days a year, Dematic field service technicians provide emergency support for those unplanned events that disrupt your systems and can maintain your system through regular servicing to maximise availability and minimise breakdowns. It’s during peak demand times that systems failures are most critical to your business. A regular service program will minimise the risk to your operations. Residential Service Many larger companies are taking a new approach. Residential maintenance programs provide full-time, on-site service technicians. Fully managed across multiple disciplines including mechanical, electrical, controls and software, the residential team becomes a seamless part of your operations management strategy.



Dematic CustomeR SERVICE & SUPPORT

Our trained industry specialists share their knowledge with your staff to help get the best out of your system. As your business changes we also keep an eye on the future, continuing to work in partnership to meet your ongoing system and training needs. Operational Audits Operational requirements invariably change over time. Often the original business and product mix the system was designed for has to be changed as customer and market forces dictate. Whether it is a full functional audit to assess system and operator effectiveness, or specific safety and equipment-related details that are needed, Dematic can conduct a range of audit activities to assist in the safe and efficient operation of your business. We can produce Equipment Condition Assessments and recommend upgrades and improvements to mechanical, controls and IT systems, in addition to safety and productivity reports. Remote Monitoring & Diagnostics In automated logistics systems, time is money. The savings gained through automation means that total systems operating time is crucial. Complex and time-critical order sequencing and the speed of throughput means that catching up through employing more hands is not possible. Remote monitoring and early alert of system errors can significantly reduce the impact of faults and, importantly, the time taken to rectify them. Remote monitoring can be utilised to take advantage of a centralised team of skilled engineers.

Trained operators have the expertise to provide immediate advice about the best course of action to respond to any issue or to actively intervene to correct system faults before operators are even aware of the problem. Early Warning Systems Sophisticated software built on years of experience has led to the development of predictive tools to further improve your system’s performance. Dematic can monitor your system using diagnostic software, looking for potential malfunctions and analysing events and issues that could affect uptime even before they happen. Dematic is dedicated to continuing its leadership as the industry’s most comprehensive service organisation. Our aim is to turn your DC into a strategic weapon that will speed delivery, improve accuracy, ensure reliability and cut costs. Our goals are clear: • Ensure safe operations at all times • Minimise unscheduled stoppages • Reduce maintenance costs • Optimise your system’s performance • Maximise the working life of your system • Increase your system’s uptime.




Dematic CustomeR SERVICE & SUPPORT

Supply chain demands are changing at a faster pace than ever before. Keeping your DC up to date – even if its only a few years old – is vital to responding efficiently to changing customer and market demands, including regulatory requirements.

modernisation breathing new life into your DC Your system has provided many years of service, and now it may be that it simply can’t perform at the level you need it to, or your business model and requirements have changed. Older systems can also become expensive to repair and maintain as parts and software become obsolete and manufacturers go out of business. Alternatively, you may want to implement greater automation and new technologies.

Dematic Modernisation Services & Support

Technologies and Equipment

• Systems assessed and upgrades recommended

• Storage retrieval machines • Software and controls • Conveyors and electrical systems • Strappers and printers • Motors and drives • RF & Pick-to-Light systems • Safety systems.

• Upgrades performed within tight timescales to meet your operational requirements • Updated controls, software and components available for older systems • Ongoing support to ensure maximum benefit.

You don’t necessarily need a new system, but we recognise that as your business grows and develops, so too can your system. As no two logistics operations are the same, Dematic reviews a range of options and creates a modernisation plan tailored specifically to suit your business requirements and timescale. We offer proven modernisation and upgrade technologies which can transform your system and deliver the increased efficiency, ease of maintenance and reliability you need quick smart. Updated controls, software and mechanical components are available, and they may be all that’s needed to increase operating efficiency to meet your current needs. Our modernisation experts have the experience and the knowledge to assess your existing system and transform it in a way that will meet your requirements today and into the future.



Modernisation presents an excellent opportunity to review and improve work processes to deliver further improvements.



CROSSDOCKING conveying & sorting

High Rate Crossdocking at Variable Speeds for JCPenney Leading retailer JCPenney operates over 1,000 department stores throughout the US and Puerto Rico, as well as one of the largest apparel and home furnishing sites on the Internet, and the nation’s largest general merchandise catalogue business. They are supported by one of the most integrated distribution networks in the US.

JCPenney’s Retail Logistics Center (RLC) at Lathrop, California represents state-of-the-art in package conveying. The RLC, which is essentially a cross-dock facility for imported goods, is equipped with a host of smart conveying systems to transport up to 165,000 cases per day and sort them at 99.9% accuracy. Smart Dematic technologies include high rate merge, single line high rate carton gapper, sliding shoe sorter with parallel diverting, linear induction motors, modular variable-speed functionality, and single-point system control. “JCPenney had two criteria for the Lathrop DC,” said Dematic’s Mike Harding. “One, high throughput, capable of handling at least 150,000 – 200,000 cartons per day over two shifts; and two, it had to be built fast, with the system going live within just four months from when JCPenney secured the lease on the 436,000 square foot DC,” he said. Dematic Integrated Sortation Sub-System® The DC is JCPenney’s first to utilise a sortation technology called Integrated Sortation Sub-System® (ISS), developed by Dematic. ISS approaches the entire sortation sub-system

as a singular unit, fully integrated with a single point of control, permitting the flexibility for all sections of the system to run at independent, variable speeds to optimise component throughput requirements and maximise operational and energy efficiencies. From the moment the ASN’s (Advanced Shipping Notice) are received and containers or trucks arrive at one of the 17 receiving docks JCPenney knows exactly what is coming in. The high-tech automation, from receiving to shipping and everywhere in between, means a typical case only spends six minutes in the DC and is only touched twice (unloading at receipt and loading at shipping) in the process, before it is on its way to one of the company’s regional Store Support Centres (SSCs). Once received at the SSCs, they cross-dock the merchandise and ship it out to 1000+ JCPenney retail stores. Important addition to supply chain network Lathrop’s primary function is to receive and sort imported merchandise for routing to JCPenney’s SSCs. 90% of merchandise received at the RLC is from overseas in containers. The remaining 10% from local suppliers is merged in with the container merchandise at the RLC’s receiving docks.




The sorter automatically adjusts speed to accommodate actual throughput rates.

“Prior to Lathrop being built, JCPenney received all West Coast container shipments at its Buena Park RLC in Southern California, through the Port of Long Beach,” said Kevin Williams, Facility Manager at JCPenney’s Lathrop RLC. “Increasingly, more merchandise was being received from overseas and through the Buena Park facility, stretching the limits of the DC. “Lathrop now allows us to route inbound goods through the Port of Oakland. The added capacity of the DC, and the port diversification, has helped us reduce transportation time for direct imports and mitigate potential risks. “This DC is performing exceptionally well,” continued Mr Williams. “It is also very quiet, much quieter than any other sortation system I have used before.” Dematic conveyor system operational features “We have variable speed on the whole sorting sub-system,” said Tim Wood, Manager of Logistics Facilities Engineering, JCPenney. “We can dial in whatever speed we want. If we know it is a slow day we will run the conveyors at 300 feet per minute. If it is a heavy day we can run them at 550 feet per minute. “This helps save electricity and it really helps save on the wear and tear of equipment.”



CROSSDOCKING conveying & sorting

This DC is performing exceptionally well. It is also very quiet, much quieter than any other sortation system I have used before. Kevin Williams, Facility Manager, JCPenney Lathrop RLC

Dematic’s FlexGap induction system closes the gaps between cartons, significantly improving conveyor sorting efficiency.

• Power loaders – Power loaders unload containers and trucks, with each carton immediately assigned to a specific store and given a UPC code while it is still on the conveyor. • Pre-merge accumulation – It is possible that hundreds of cartons from a container could be destined for a specific store. A conventional merge handling this volume of cartons to the same store would have caused throughput issues on the sorter. To overcome this, Dematic designed a zipper merge so that cartons for the same store don’t enter the sortation subsystem in a continuous line. The zipper merge shuffles the deck, so to speak, so the chance of having a high number of cartons going to the same location in a continuous line is reduced. • Precision gapping – The cartons exiting the main merge are moving at 45 CPM. But after the main merge, everything needs to run at sorter speed, which is 238-plus CPM. The answer is Dematic’s FlexGap™ induction system which closes the gaps between cartons. Because the packages are closer together, the sorter can run at a slower speed, yet handle the same volume of packages that another sorter would handle having to run at least 20% faster. Consequently, Lathrop’s sorter can process the same number of cartons at 540 feet per minute (FPM) compared to the industry standard of 650 FPM.

• Parallel Divert Sortation with Linear Induction Motors – A unique feature of the Dematic FlexSort SL sorter is its use of linear induction motors (LIM). These electro-magnetic drives use a magnetic field to move the aluminum slats of the sorter without mechanical contact – there is an air gap between the electromagnets and the slats. The LIM drive-units are mounted and centered on cross member supports, are evenly spaced along the sorter track, and propel the sorter slats without any moving parts. The sorter has no belts, drive chains, gears or sprockets, no air lines or compressors requiring maintenance, no filters to clean, and no oiling. “One of the big features for us is the linear induction motors,” explained Mr Wood. “The sorter utilises multiple linear induction drive motors for redundancy It is engineered such that the sorter will still operate if a motor is off line. With our other sorters, if a motor or gearbox drops, our whole sorter is down until we get it fixed.” The sortation subsystem is controlled by Dematic’s FlexSort PC controller, which handles all inductions, tracking and diverting, with a webbased graphic monitoring system simplifying operational control and management.




Multishuttle lifts productivity 50% for Bosch Rexroth “Growth and rising customer requirements meant our DC had hit its limits,” said Joachim Roß, Head of the Bosch Rexroth DC in Laatzen near Hannover, Germany. “We needed a future-oriented solution that would enable us to increase order picking and goods flow within the warehouse.” “Dematic’s innovative use of a Multishuttle as a high-speed buffer relieves the load on our existing picking routes, improves access to stock and makes the best use of space all at the same time,” he said. Bosch Rexroth Laatzen DC The Laatzen DC covers an area of around 8,500 square metres. A high bay racking system houses 3,000 pallets, and a small parts automated storage and retrieval system (ASRS) provides space for 50,000 container locations. About 30,000 pneumatic products comprising around one million individual items are consolidated at the DC for global distribution. Dematic Multishuttle meets need for speed The DC’s existing small parts ASRS, conveyors and picking stations had a peak output of around 500 items/hr. To meet future targets, the DC needed to achieve a pick rate of 750 items/hr. Supply to the 12 picking stations was the bottleneck. Dematic’s solution introduced a buffer store prior to the system’s sequencers, which ensures stock arrives at the picking stations in the correct order for assembly. Integrating the buffer store between the ASRS and the picking stations has reduced traffic on the conveyor system and the ASRS goods inward and outward processes.

Integrating a space-efficient Dematic Multishuttle® system as a high-speed buffer store between an existing small parts ASRS and a series of picking stations has cost-effectively increased capacity and productivity at Bosch Rexroth’s Laatzen DC by 50%. 16


It significantly improves the handling of containers that will be required multiple times in the compilation of a batch, especially fast-turnaround items. Thanks to the new buffer store, containers don’t have to return to the small parts ASRS every time they are used, but can remain within the buffer. The same applies to frequently requested items, and pre-picked order containers. The disconnection and duplication of inward, outward and transport processes provides high performance levels as well as increased order picking and inward storage performance.

automated storage and retrieval High speed bUFFER STORE

Right from the start the system not only met, but exceeded the expectations placed on it.

“ Joachim Roß, Bosch Rexroth

Because it is only for temporary storage, the high-speed Multishuttle buffer didn’t need to be particularly large, enabling the project to be completed without any extensions to the building. Multishuttle’s improved energy efficiency in comparison to conventional ASRS and its low maintenance requirements also minimise operating costs. Making the best use of space Unlike most conventional ASRS, Multishuttle systems do not need to be fitted directly onto the DC floor. The modular system design enables Multishuttle to be adapted to fit into the space that is available in existing buildings. In Laatzen, a second level was integrated in the DC on a 3.50 metre high platform over the picking stations. The compact Multishuttle system with two 40 metre long aisles, five levels per aisle and a total of ten shuttles was installed above this. The system provides space for 1,200 containers and achieves 1,000 double movements/hr. At this rate, the buffer turns over every hour or so.

“An intelligent and space-saving solution that not only meets the required throughput, but with its scalable expansion options also accommodates further growth,” said Mr Roß. Exceeding expectations right from the start “Right from the start the system not only met, but exceeded the expectations placed on it,” he said. “With Multishuttle eliminating the supply bottleneck to the picking stations, the required performance of 750 container movements per hour is not a problem, and we can even process up to 900 per hour. “It was a professional and optimal project implementation process that was commissioned without negatively impacting our ability to deliver,” concluded Mr Roß. “For a comparatively moderate investment, thanks to Multishuttle we have been able to implement a solution for Bosch Rexroth that delivers performance levels that simply would not have been possible a few years ago,” said Rainer Alester, Sales Manager, Industrial Projects, Dematic.



SUNCOAST Beverage Sales, Ltd Florida, USA

Voice picking brings cheers to Suncoast Florida-based beer distributor Suncoast Beverage Sales, Ltd distributes more than 17,000 cases of beverages daily – 80% of which is beer – and approximately five million cases annually. The company’s decision to switch from paper to voice picking was not taken lightly, and it had to be executed with minimal interference to the DC, which operates 16 hours a day, six days a week.

“Five years ago we handled less than 200 SKUs. Now we handle over 400.”

In conjunction with implementing voice technology, Suncoast also took the opportunity to update its IT systems, implementing Dematic’s Warehouse Control System (WCS), PickDirector.

There is usually little racking, and most of the product is floor stacked two or three-pallets high.

With the software’s wide-ranging functionality spanning the entire warehouse environment – including picking, inventory control and shipping – it has helped to reduce picking errors, misreads and mistakes, and virtually eliminated expensive and time-consuming quality control procedures. The need to automate Suncoast is an Anheuser-Busch affiliated distributor and one of the top ten beer wholesalers in Florida. The company distributes to restaurants, bars, grocery stores, warehouse clubs and convenience stores in Fort Myers, Florida. “We had been using a paper-based picking system,” said Tim Mitchell, President of Suncoast. “It was a very slow and frequently difficult process with a high potential for mistakes, but was somewhat effective when we didn’t carry so many SKUs.



Beverage distribution characteristics Beverage distribution – especially beer and carbonated soft drinks – is characterised by the predominant lack of a fixed SKU location scheme within the warehouse.

The flow of product through a beer DC is extremely dynamic. The SKUs and their pick locations are in constant movement. Beer distributors typically handle fewer SKUs compared to retail DCs. A relatively small number of fast moving SKUs (10 or 15 items) can account for 80% of a beer DC’s case volume. “As our SKU count increased and space became critical in the warehouse, we were looking at how to take the thinking process out of our receiving and replenishing functions, and the loading of our fleet,” explained Mr Mitchell. “Our interest to automate picking escalated when we saw the Dematic voice picking solution in operation at a Pepsi DC nearby. “We could see how this computer-based system did the thinking for the DC, and how it could increase efficiency and reduce labour hours in our warehouse.”

Full Case Picking voice-directed computing

We selected Dematic because of their broad customer base, experience in voice picking and their responsiveness to customising the software to make it better for everyone.

Cliff Hodges, IT Director, Suncoast.

Switching from paper to voice-directed picking, Suncoast Beverage Sales, Ltd increased case and pallet picking accuracy to 99.8%, improved distribution centre productivity by 20%, reduced labour hours, and cut truck loading times.

New picking automation at Suncoast has increased accuracy and efficiency in its warehouse, with reduced order errors, f loading and a 20 percent increase in cases-per-labor-hour productivity, all order making for happier, more productive Suncoast Dynamic picking with voice Improved assembly flexibility

Suncoast selected PickDirector for voice-based control of its picking, quality assurance, manifesting and truck loading – all operations that previously required paper-based, manual validation. The voice picking system is fully configurable by Suncoast, enabling it to modify the pick sequence to adjust for volume fluctuations and the spoken description to the selector. These two features allow an unprecedented level of site control without requiring support from Dematic. Voice in action at Suncoast With no paperwork, operators pick with both hands, and tasks such as reading, writing, and searching for stock locations are eliminated. Pickers wear a portable, belt-mounted speech recognition device and a headset. The terminal communicates to the host computer via a traditional RF backbone. “We have found that the scan-to-confirm method used by PickDirector allows for a first pass accuracy of 99.8%, which is exceptional,” said Dematic’s Technology Specialist, Tim Post. “This meets all ASN (advanced shipping notice) targets out there. It raises accuracy to a level that ensures no difficulty meeting the inbound requirements of big box retailers.”

Supervisors can also rearrange the order in which routes are picked. PickDirector also directs the loading and reverse stop sequencing of the orders, and then ‘closes’ and certifies the loads on the trailer. This process, combined with high picking accuracy, eliminates the wasted time associated with pre-delivery driver audits. Drivers arrive, pre-trip their vehicles and get on the road. “Our old way of loading would have one worker loading one side-load truck at a time, which would take 90 minutes to load,” said Suncoast’s President Tim Mitchell. “Now we can have three to four workers picking and loading one truck, which enables us to load a truck in 30 minutes or less,” he said. Suncoast has increased accuracy and efficiency, reduced order errors, boosted case picking productivity by 20%, reduced numbers in the warehouse and cut truck loading time. “We saw a major decrease in our errors in the warehouse going onto the trucks from night loading,” Mr Mitchell continued, “with our latest figures showing 99.9% accuracy.” Suncoast is planning to expand PickDirector functions even further into its DC, with receiving and replenishment to be added at a later date.



Macquarie University Sydney, australia

Macquarie University launchES Australia’s first ARC for books Macquarie University Library’s appropriately named ARC (Automated Retrieval Collection) can store up to 1.8 million books in less than a seventh of the floorspace required by conventional shelving. The library also provides hands-on access to up to 500,000 items that are in higher demand. The capacity to store up to 2.3 million titles enables the University to house its entire collection – previously split between sites – for the first time. With an initial inventory of 1.3 million books in the ARC, and 400,000 on shelving, the library is well placed to cope with title growth for years to come. Delivering a new standard of service Due to the space-efficiency of the ARC, the new library is about the same size as its predecessor, yet provides three times as much study space and associated facilities. “We are all very proud of our new library, but the most exciting thing is the improved service we can now offer to our students,” said University Librarian, Maxine Brodie. “Students can now simply browse our online catalogue of titles, both electronic and print. If the item is located in the ARC, the student simply places an online request, and it will be waiting for them by the time they make their way to the pick up station. “Based on overseas experience with automated library storage and retrieval systems, we expect the easy, convenient access the ARC provides will actually increase book lending rates over time.”

The most advanced library in Australia has opened at Macquarie University in Sydney. The $97 million project incorporates a host of architectural and technology initiatives, including Australia’s first Automated Storage & Retrieval System (ASRS) for handling books.



As collections continue to grow, we all face the task of finding not only where to put titles, but how to retain immediate access to them. For those with larger collections, some form of automation is needed.

Macquarie University Librarian, Maxine Brodie.

Maxine Brodie, Macquarie University Librarian

automated storage and retrieval Automated book storage and handling

Automating book storage and handling The ARC is housed within an environmentally controlled 1,000 square metre vault about four floors high. Books are stored in quantities of up to 100 in steel bins, providing optimum long-term storage conditions. Four different height bins are used within the system to accommodate small to large publications. Prior to the books being put away in the bins, they were cleaned and their details logged in the ARC’s location control system. Integrated by Dematic, the ARC uses four stacker cranes to automatically handle the steel bins in and out of their 17,000+ locations at up to 160 per hour. When a book is required, the steel bin containing the book is automatically retrieved by one of the four stacker cranes, and delivered to a library staff member within a couple of minutes. Dematic’s Manager Direct & Wholesale, Darren Rawlinson, said implementing the ASRS had been a pleasant change from working in warehouses. “It was exciting to work on such a ground-breaking project in Australia. Macquarie University’s new library is world class in every area, and we are proud to have played a part in bringing Australia’s first automated library storage and retrieval solution online.” Automated storage the future for libraries The use of automated storage and retrieval systems has become increasingly common in major universities and libraries in the USA and Europe. “Libraries around the world all face similar problems,” explained Ms Brodie. “As collections continue to grow, we all face the task of finding not only where to put titles, but how to retain immediate access to them. For those with larger collections, some form of automation is needed.

• Provides ready access to up to 1.8 million titles • One-seventh of the floorspace required by shelving

“More than 25 automated systems are already in operation in major universities and libraries around the world. In time, they will become commonplace just about everywhere,” she said.

• Enables additional space to be used for other purposes • Improves security, prevents titles being misplaced • Reduces clerical workload, controlled environment improves cleanliness and longevity of titles

“As for Macquarie University, this building is designed to last for the next 50 years,” said Ms Brodie. “I’m thrilled to be a part of it. It’s a real investment in the future of the University and our students.”





Helping you get the best out of your DC 24/7

spare parts

what you need, when you need it

remote monitoring

keeping watch on your DC server architecture and Dematic has anDematic expert residential maintenance software applications. team available programs to provide client DCs monitoring ensure your software is Remote with on-site mechanical and/orby highly trained fully supported,electrical 24/7. technicians whosoftware perform regular Remote access, preventive,specialists, corrective and emergency process patches and help desks andmaintenance, as well as provide security updates as programmers are on operational assistance to ensure the well as cluster tests for standby to ensure your handling materials systems function availability systems Dematic software and high at optimum efficiency. set Dematic Software IT systems meet yourare several There reasons to support apart. operational needs. Extensive software support programs can include regular database checking,



All services are designed to optimise system performance and give you a competitive edge.

When you invest in an integrated materials handling system, you expect it to perform around the clock, all year round. Parts availability is crucial to this goal, and Dematic can supply the high-quality genuine and approved third-party spares you need, when you need them. Proper performance, trouble-free operation and system longevity are all enhanced when a system is maintained with original parts.

Dematic ensures the availability of quality spare parts through our local and global sourcing network. Our spare parts organisation ensures easy ordering and timely delivery to customers anywhere in the world. Your local Dematic service team is available to assist you and answer your technical and purchasing questions, and can also provide valuable advice on the correct parts holding for your system.

Residential maintenance

optimising your dc’s performance

PLC UPGRADES improve control

The controls in your logistics operation are fundamental to ensuring your operations run smoothly and reliably. They provide seamless integration between your host computer management system and materials handling systems and technologies, delivering precise handling and optimising system performance. However, as controls approach end-of-life and become obsolete, systems and equipment can suffer performance and reliability issues, threatening your logistics operations and business.

Upgrading materials handling equipment with the latest PLCs (Programmable Logic Controllers) is a cost-effective way to enhance and safeguard your logistics operations. PLC upgrades deliver significant benefits, including optimised equipment performance, improved system uptime, enhanced system management and extended life. Dematic’s upgrade capability is second to none in the industry, and covers all major PLC types and brands.

Dematic residential maintenance programs provide client DCs with on-site mechanical and/ or electrical technicians who perform preventive, corrective and emergency maintenance, as well as provide operational assistance to ensure the materials handling systems function at optimum efficiency. There are several reasons to consider residential maintenance programs. The most critical is the desire to increase system uptime, which requires a more comprehensive and systematised approach to maintenance than what is typically in place in many DCs. Additionally, as equipment becomes more sophisticated, the need for more technically-specialised personnel, which most

DCs would not have on staff, becomes an issue. Another factor influencing the move to residential maintenance programs is senior management’s push for DCs to become more accountable for key performance indicators (KPIs), and to function more cost-efficiently. And, finally, there is the desire to extend the life of the DC’s capital equipment to reduce its lifecycle cost. Each DC has its own unique requirements, for which Dematic develops a custom residential maintenance program, whether it be for Dematic or any other type of equipment. Residential maintenance benefits A well structured residential maintenance program can yield huge benefits for a DC:

• Flexible staffing as operational requirements increase during peak seasons • Optimised uptime – no unscheduled downtime • Cost reductions through increased productivity and reduced overall maintenance costs • Dedicated maintenance staffing resources focusing on materials handling • Improved equipment and operational safety • Reduced parts usage due to maximising equipment lifecycles • Increased system and equipment longevity • Significantly reduces the potential for emergency or unscheduled maintenance • Lower operating costs.



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Dematic Logistics Review - Issue 5  

Nestlé, Alloga Burgdorf, Deliverying Service Effectiveness, JCPenney, Bosch Rexroth, Suncoast, Macquarie University, News, Product, Technolo...

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