AS Colour system Dematic materials handling racking

AS Colour NZ boosts DC capability

New Zealand-based apparel label AS Colour is to support the company’s significant business growth with an advanced materials handling installation in its new Auckland distribution centre.
Founded in 2005 in Auckland and operating in NZ, Australia and California, AS Colour produces apparel products for the wholesale and retail markets, with a number of retail outlets located in NZ and Australia.
“Following recent continued growth, AS Colour has outgrown its existing DC and made the decision to move to a new facility,” explained managing director and founder of AS Colour Lawrence Railton. “As part of our evolution into a new DC, AS Colour also wanted to optimise our warehouse operations by boosting productivity and efficiency when handling the high number of SKU we deal with.”
Working with Scott Kerr at Kerrect Logistics, AS Colour evaluated a range of automation options before choosing a tailored Dematic Multishuttle Goods-to-Person (GTP) System for its new DC, which provides high-density tote storage and high sequenced order picking productivity.
“AS Colour wanted to find a way to pick orders faster with minimal touches, in order to minimise product packaging and presentation challenges caused by handling the same product multiple times,” said business development manager at Dematic Seth van Dijk “The system we have tailored for AS Colour is based on the goods-to-person methodology, where the storage and delivery of products to fulfil orders is automated through the use of the Dematic Multishuttle high-rate storage and retrieval system.”

High-speed picking

Using the Dematic Multishuttle Goods-To-Person (GTP), AS Colour products are stored in totes in a secure high-density environment until they are retrieved and delivered in orderline sequence to operators at four ergonomic workstations. This significantly improves productivity by eliminating non-value-added time spent on tasks such as travel, and manually locating and retrieving stock.
Managed by Dematic iQ Warehouse Control System software, the installation features a two-aisle Dematic Multishuttle GTP system, with double-deep storage for 19,425 totes across 18 levels and 36 bays. It also features automated order tote delivery to 4 x 1:1 workstations as well as order tote take away to a dedicated conveyor sorter and packing area.
“In addition to the productivity, efficiency and high-density benefits the Dematic installation will bring to our new facility, we will also gain much more visibility into our warehouse operations,” added Mr Railton. “The new system will deliver real-time information, which places us in a better position to monitor and optimise our picking and replenishment productivity rates.”
The new AS Colour DC is due for completion in the first half of 2021.
 
 

Dematic First wooden electric conveyor 1922.

Dematic celebrates 200th anniversary

Dematic’s first wooden electric conveyor in 1922.

Warehouse equipment and automation company Dematic is celebrating its 200th anniversary. The company’s origins date back to 1819 when Mechanische Werkstätten Harkort & Co was founded and produced the first steam-powered crane.
“Innovation is at the core of what we do,” said Hasan Dandashly, president and CEO, Dematic. “As our business grows in an increasingly digital world, we are focused on designing and implementing equipment combining the latest advancements in software, robotics and mechatronics to drive optimal performance. By focusing on the long-term needs of our customers, our innovative products have enabled us to be a market leader for not only decades, but centuries.”
Dematic’s recent past traces back to 1995 when Mannesmann Demag, the world’s first complete supplier of intralogistics was formed. Ten years later, Dematic GmbH & Co. KG was established as its own enterprise focusing on automated storage for small parts. From cranes to a global supplier of integrated automated technology, software and services, Dematic has always remained at the forefront of the industry by focusing on the future.

Dematic Truck Loader 1960
Dematic’s truck Loader from 1960.

Dematic’s history in Australia and New Zealand began in 1966 when Colby Engineering was first set up, providing adjustable pallet racking. The company has continued to grow and evolve through various business transitions: from Colby to Mannesmann to Siemens to Dematic. Out of respect for its long heritage as an Australian manufacturer, and strong recognition in the market, the Colby name continues today as Dematic’s storage equipment brand.
Some of Dematic’s greatest innovations include the world’s first hanging conveyor (1930s), its storage and retrieval machines (1950s), the world’s first fully automated warehouse (1962), Dematic Multishuttle, the company’s ground-breaking mini-load handling system (2006), and the integrated software platform the Dematic iQ Software Portfolio (2018).
“Although our products provide great value, it’s really the people of Dematic that make the difference,” said Mr Dandashly. “Each employee plays a crucial role in Dematic’s history and we continue to be guided by our values of courage, collaboration, integrity and excellence. I look forward to more success in the next 200 years.”
Dematic's grocery conveyor from the 1950s.
Dematic’s grocery conveyor from the 1950s.

Dematic reveals new system to support same-day delivery

Dematic has announced the launch of its Micro-Fulfilment System, an e-commerce order assembly system for retailers that need to support same day home delivery, as well as click-and-collect.
The Dematic Micro-Fulfilment system is an ultra-local distribution solution that enables orders to be assembled quickly in a location close to the customer, inside a retail store or in an urban / suburban DC (distribution centre). The order assembly system is designed around process improvements and comprised of performance optimising software and automation.
“Dematic Micro-Fulfilment is a high-performance solution that makes rapid response order assembly cost effective for the customer and the retailer. In operation, the automated order assembly solution provides compelling results by minimising the time, space, and cost to fill orders,” said Pas Tomasiello, Senior Director Integrated Systems Group ANZ, Dematic.
The system accommodates a wide range of inventory in a compact, high-density layout that requires a small footprint. It significantly reduces the cost per order picked to a level that allows retailers to offer rapid response e-fulfilment at a price point attractive to their customers, and with the appropriate margin for retailers.

GTS Freight goes automatic

Transport and logistics company GTS Freight Group is installing automated guided vehicles (AGV) in its new warehouse.
GTS Freight Group is a privately-owned full-service logistics company based in Mildura, which operates a nationwide fleet of over 150 prime movers and over 450 trailers. Due to ongoing growth, the GTS Group is constructing a new depot adjacent to its existing facility. This will incorporate a 10,000m2 warehouse, trailer parking for 60 trailers and a new corporate headquarters for the group.
GTS has ordered a turnkey Dematic AGV system to manage its block-stacked full pallet warehouse. The AGV system comprises two counterbalance AGV utilising QR code navigation within block-stack lanes and Dematic’s AGV Warehouse Control Software (WCS) interfaced with Paperless WMS.
“We wanted an efficient and cost-effective warehousing solution that would allow for continued growth and expansion,” said managing director of GTS Damien Matthews. “We have been a long-time customer of Dematic and the turnkey capability was a big plus. Dematic was selected as it has proven to be a continual performer with years of background history and they designed these AGV to perfectly meet our warehouse needs.”
The AGV have been designed to work in a specific area, receiving stock and putting away and picking full pallets, while part-picking is performed manually, as well as all warehouse housekeeping. The AGV have been designed for GTS with a combination of laser guidance and QR code navigation. The QR codes can allow for more accurate navigation within high block-stacked warehouses, allowing the AGV to operate in high-density storage.
“We are implementing two AGV CB-1200-55-S units, with a height of 6.0 metres and a lifting capacity of 1,200 kg,” said southern regional manager AGV at Dematic Greg Carrington. “The efficiencies that the AGV will provide include the ability to continually work after hours and fit the design of the warehouse to help keep those efficiencies at an optimum.”
One of the key benefits of installing the AGV in GTS’s new warehouse is to be able to perform other tasks that need attending to, including stock maintenance and data entry, at the same time that the AGV are performing the picking tasks. The new AGV are due to go live mid-2019.
 

Toll goes e-commerce – from MHD magazine

Toll Group’s new $160 million retail and e-commerce order picking and distribution centre in western Sydney is designed to support the growth of online shopping by processing orders faster and more cost-effectively.
The 32,000sqm DC has 15,600sqm of automation equipment, which picks, processes and packs up to 375,000 items per day, reducing delivery times from days to hours.
Commenting on the project Toll Global Logistics president Chris Pearce said today’s market is placing aggressive demands on retailers to provide fast order fulfilment and delivery, without increasing costs.
“Toll’s investment in the new facility is helping our customers adapt to the new retail environment. The facility is equipped with advanced automation technology so retailers can deliver their e-commerce  orders faster, and in a much more economical way,” said Mr Pearce.
“Retailers will benefit from the ability to deliver goods to their stores and direct to customers faster and more cost-effectively. And shoppers will enjoy flexible order times and faster order processing, receiving their purchases within hours, not days.”
Fashion retail DC
The facility was constructed in collaboration with a major apparel retailer as the anchor tenant. Toll, Dematic and the client collaborated to design the facility with scalability and future growth in mind.
Toll is constantly looking to improve its omni-channel service for customers. This includes offering faster and more convenient delivery options for online and ‘click and collect’ orders.
The new DC offers complete omni-channel capability to help retailers adapt to the changing needs of customers and operates as a shared, multi-user facility.
Safety and environmental initiatives include a 70% reduction in manual handling, packaging optimisation and recycling, LED lighting and rainwater harvesting.
The site is ideally positioned on the corner of the M5 and M7 tollways, enabling convenient transport links for NSW and interstate deliveries.
The DC commenced operations in December 2017.
Toll transitioned customers through that peak period, and was fully live by the end of January, ahead of schedule.
Automated replenishment
Distribution in the DC starts at the receiving door. Cartons are unloaded from shipping containers and moved into storage, before being transported by a fleet of 10 Dematic automated guided vehicles (AGV) to the decant area.
Six double-pallet AGV are used for longer distance runs, together with four single-pallet AGV, which have been customised for the facility to provide additional safety processes around interaction with the decant tables.
The single-pallet AGV take the pallet from the handover point from the double-pallet AGV onto turntables, from which products are decanted and transported into the automation system.

“The new DC offers complete omni-channel capability to help retailers adapt to the changing needs of customers and operates as a shared, multi-user facility.”

AGV benefits
A key benefit of using AGV over forklifts for repetitive materials handling tasks is that they are predictable. They are safe, don’t take breaks, and they efficiently handle repetitive tasks.

“At the moment we are in the process of scaling up,” said Leon Land, senior product manager at Toll.
“We’ve got the ability to add capacity, extra shifts and extra hours within the time frame that we currently operate.
“The DC typically operates 12 hours a day, 5 days a week. The facility is operating at the moment with our anchor client, which is about 50% of the capacity.
“Within the scope and design of this facility, we’ve allowed for seasonality. We can scale up. We can add hours, shifts and weekends to satisfy our customers’ needs.”
He added: “A typical day at the moment is about 80,000 order lines. This utilises about 50% of the design capacity, which is around 170,000 order lines per shift.”
 RapidPICK GTP pick stations
To achieve this, the automated order fulfilment system includes 24 Dematic RapidPICK goods-to-person (GTP) pick stations. Products and order cartons are delivered to operators in a precise sequence, allowing for very high picking efficiency and accuracy.

“Employees are very happy with the new system,” Mr Land said. “It’s ergonomic, safe and there will be no horror stories of people walking mile after mile looking for products in the DC.”
The new GTP pick stations are very intuitive, easy to learn and operate. Users manage their processes via touchscreens, so it is very easy for Toll to train a new team member on the system.
Products arrive at the pick stations from 24 aisles of Dematic Multishuttle, which provides high-density storage and is capable of supplying products in the correct sequence for order fulfilment, at high rates.
Cardboard cartons are created in two sizes by automated carton erectors, with a licence plate applied on creation. These are then held in one of six Multishuttle order buffers ready for release to the pick stations.
Orders are picked and packed at the 1:1 Dematic RapidPICK stations.
“When all items for an order have been picked, order cartons are transported by conveyor via QA and automated invoice insertion to order finishing areas for either e-commerce  or store orders,” said Toll’s general manager for specialty retail Robert Charles.
“Store order cartons go through automatic carton optimising machines, where the carton is cut down in size to suit the fill level, reducing transport costs. Completed order cartons may be held in a Multishuttle pack and hold buffer, before being transported via the despatch sorter and directly loaded into Toll trailers.
“E-commerce  orders are transported to an automated packing bench with semi-automated satchel bagging machines. Satchels are then loaded into despatch cages, and loaded into the back of vehicles with minimal handling,” said Mr Charles.
The facility specialises in split case and full case picking, and currently operates from 6am to 6pm, which caters for the DC’s cut-off times to make sure Toll gets its online and other deliveries to customers on time.
The head contractor
“Dematic’s ability to support us on this project was what led us to them,” added Mr Charles.
“We collaborated very well. We put together a very strong project team to deliver this project.”
“We transitioned our customer during their peak Christmas period and we wouldn’t have done that if we didn’t have the confidence in our new systems and processes,” said Toll’s Leon Land.
“Dematic brought a very strong sense of how to deliver a highly automated supply chain and integrated logistics environment to us.
“We understand these things as a third-party company, but putting together and integrating all the automation, all of the third-party equipment, and bringing that schedule and compressing that schedule and keeping it on track was vital expertise that Dematic brought in this process.”
“Naturally, we’re very proud of the DC,” added Mr Land.
“It’s a highly automated facility. It’s changed the way we operate within the retail environment and everyone who has been involved in the project is very proud of the outcome.”

“A lot of work was done in the first 18 months evaluating multiple options and technology, whether it would be fully or semi-automated.”

Three years in the making
The DC was three years in the making and went live in December 2017. However, a lot of work was done in the first 18 months evaluating multiple options and technology, whether it would be fully or semi-automated.
“Toll looked at the business case justification, and once we got to a point where we agreed that the DC was going to be a fully automated integrated logistics centre, not only for our core customer, but also for other customers, we built at twice the capacity so that we could fulfil requirements for multiple customers,” said Mr Charles.
When evaluating a solution of this nature, Toll takes many disparate factors into consideration. It looks at customer service levels and, for Toll, how to reduce total costs, which is a big part of why businesses make decisions and realise commercial benefits.
“Safety is, of course, our number one priority on site,” he said.
“We work in an environment where there’s a lot of moving equipment, so we’re always looking at ways to segregate personnel from equipment and machine operations, and minimise the potential for accidents,” said Mr Land.
 Toll
The Toll Group operates an extensive global logistics network across 1,200 locations in more than 50 countries. 43,000 employees provide a diverse range of transport and logistics solutions covering road, air, sea and rail to help customers meet their global supply chain needs.
Toll Global Logistics has its own in-house integrated logistics capability. Toll’s team will evaluate an operation and that takes into account the operational requirements, the commercial requirements and the technical.
“After Toll develops the concept and the design levels and throughputs, we engage the market,” said Mr Charles.
“Dematic was a good choice for Toll because we’ve worked with Dematic in the past on a similar facility. There’s a good cultural alignment between Toll and Dematic, and it’s all about the people within the teams to be able to deliver something like this successfully,” he said.
“Once we selected Dematic as a partner, we had two joint project teams to execute the solution, so their involvement and their input into the solution was very detailed.”
In that detailed design phase, a lot of the input was around IT functionality, processes, and Toll understanding what needed to change from the concept to be able to accommodate some of the automation that it was looking to put in, such as Multishuttles and goods-to-person (GTP) stations.
Dematic’s multi-faceted role
“We had a lot of input from Dematic on third-party equipment, such as the carton-optimising machines, which deliver our customers fantastic benefit in terms of our outbound transport.
“Thanks to our carton-optimising system, we have the ability to reduce the carton sizes and ship 30% more cartons in the containers,” said Mr Charles.
“Dematic had a lot of involvement in terms of the IT functionality – the detailed design of the solution and the system – with regards to how do the Multishuttle system and the GTP stations work efficiently together, to ensure we would achieve peak productivity and accuracy,” he said.
“When we looked at the design of the facility, we had to take into account multiple retail customers.”
Flexible system designed for growth
“Some retailers are dedicated store retailers. We have others that are wholesale retailers who deliver to other distribution centres, and we also have retailers that have a large e-commerce  component,” said Mr Charles.
“Our anchor tenant has over 1,000 retail stores. Our second customer is a wholesale business.
“This business is delivering into other distribution centres that then deliver to its network of stores, and this customer also has a very large e-commerce  component. Toll has a lot of customers who have a fashion retail background, so the distribution profile for this facility caters for any fashion retail customer in the industry.”
“However, this site is also capable of handling any retailer,” added Mr Charles.
“So, if the retailer was a stationery retailer or in another line of retailing, the solution that we’ve implemented can cater for that.”
“The facility with the automation that has been implemented is mainly a unit pick-and-pack operation: between 95-98% of the volume goes to the automation as it’s picked at unit level,” explained Mr Charles.
e-commerce  driving growth
“Between 10 and 15% of volume is e-commerce-driven and the growth across the sector is immense,” he said.
“This is one of the key factors we had in mind when we designed the facility. Scalability and flexibility is key in any 3PL. We have multiple customers, their businesses change every year and we have to be able to evolve with them.
“If we look at what we’ve built here, we’ve built two facilities. We’ve got a fully automated one which is Project Enterprise, however, we also have a manual facility across the hard stand, which also has a lot of other customers.
“Therefore, if we need to expand, we have the ability to expand the automation, which gives us the flexibility to grow, or contract, depending on what we need to do,” concluded Mr Charles.
For more information visit www.dematic.com/en-au. You can also watch a video of this DC in action at https://youtu.be/m6iOqRH8NX8. ■

Omni-channel DC – from MHD magazine

Photo: Kathmandu’s general manager supply chain Caleb Nicolson and national distribution manager Shawn Silk.

Travel and adventure brand Kathmandu has established one of Australia’s first purpose-designed omni-channel DC in Melbourne.
 The world of Kathmandu
Kathmandu’s Truganina DC is responsible for distribution across its Australian retail network and to online customers globally.
“While the majority of our online business is currently in Australia and New Zealand, last year we launched a global website, so we are now responding to more demand,” said Kathmandu’s general manager supply chain Caleb Nicolson.
The Truganina DC is 25,000 square metres. It’s built for growth, and made it possible for Kathmandu to consolidate its previous operations.
 A bigger, smarter DC
The Kathmandu Supply Chain team started the journey about five years ago. “We knew we had to change, we knew we needed a larger site, the key question was what was the most appropriate design and automation,” said Mr Nicolson.
Kathmandu evaluated a range of order fulfilment options including zone-routed picking and goods-to-person (GTP), and it took six to 12 months before the business got to the point where it was clear that a batch-pick sortation solution would be the best fit.
“There were a lot of drivers for change,” said Mr Nicolson.
“The first one was that the lease on our building was ending, and we had run out of space and couldn’t meet our operational output per day.”
Kathmandu was seeking an operation that enabled high fulfilment responsiveness, which was critical, given the success of its strong promotional model.
With its previous discrete order picking strategy, Kathmandu’s staff would walk the DC 116 times to service its 116 stores. With the new batch-pick sortation system, they only need to walk the DC two to three times a day.
“With turnover increasing at double-digit rates for the last seven years, online has been a huge growth area for us.
“Our goal with the new DC is to be able to dispatch every order as it’s received on the day or, if not, the following day,” said Mr Nicolson.
Kathmandu has made a significant investment in systems in recent years, with its network built around responsiveness.
When a customer buys an item in a Kathmandu store, it is in demand in the DC the very next day, with all out-of-stocks prioritised for picking.
“With our new batch-pick sortation system, the pick accuracy is far beyond what we could achieve with our previous manual processes,” said Mr Nicolson.
“The trick for us has been to determine the timing of batch releases, aiming anything that’s been ordered in the morning to be dispatched that afternoon.”
Prior to implementing the system, Kathmandu contacted suppliers and changed packaging and barcodes etc. to maximise the volume of product and the width of its range that could be handled by the system, with items that transfer via the sortation system being the most cost-effective path to its customers.
The sortation system also provides a flexible conveying solution, with large items capable of being handled across two cells.
Seasonality and peak periods
With its promotional model, Kathmandu experiences the majority of demand during sale events, which are effectively at the middle to end of a season. This means Kathmandu’s range launch or initial push quantities are potentially lower than for a traditional retailer.
A traditional retailer may push 50-60% of their volume at the start of a new season, before switching to a replenishment model.
“Kathmandu’s seasons are quite different,” said Mr Nicolson, “We have three seasons and our range launch volumes are less than half the industry standard due to our promotional model and the majority of demand occurring during key promotional periods.
“We saw the need for a logistics system that could be very responsive, as we needed to maintain high service levels for highly variable demand in stores.
“For us, the ability to have a system that had the flexibility to scale up output on a Monday without a linear relationship to labour is really key.
“Under our previous manual pick method, if we wanted to increase output by 50%, it was basically 50% more people in the building. That all changes with a sortation system, particularly when you’ve got the batch-pick opportunity.”
Kathmandu’s DC was designed to accommodate growth. The capacity of the sortation system can be scaled up by adding more store or online chutes, which gives Kathmandu flexibility based on where its business grows.
The company currently inducts goods into the sortation system from one end only, and it is possible to significantly increase throughput by inducting from both ends. It can also put a mezzanine floor above the pick module, and extend the building at a later stage.
“We also ran a really high pool of agency staff, particularly in the last year within our old distribution centres, so we knew – and the narrative to our team was – as we transition people across, our existing and core Kathmandu people would have a role, because we’d be able to remove the agency element from the business,” said Mr Nicolson.
Automated split-case sortation
Dematic has implemented many cross-belt sorting systems for full case sortation in Australia.
“What was really new about the Kathmandu facility is that we’re using the crossbelt sorter to do split-case sortation to individual stores,” said Dematic’s solutions manager Darren Rawlinson.
“We take a batch of the store orders, together with some e-commerce orders, and group the demand.
“The pickers then pick those items and feed them into the sorter, which automatically allocates the picked items to the relevant stores,” he said.
Full cases can also be picked in the system. These are picked in the same manner and loaded onto the conveyor system, or, if they’re required to be broken and fed to individual stores, they feed up onto a mezzanine area ready for induction into the crossbelt sorting system.
The system can sort up to 254 store destinations together with the e-commerce areas and packing areas.
Because the crossbelt sorter does not rely on gravity and gives a positive sortation action, the system can handle a very wide range of products from a small compass packed in a plastic wrapper, all the way through to a large sleeping bag.
When Kathmandu is picking a batch of orders for stores, it also considers family groups, with the system allocating each store and family group combination to a chute. When an item is scanned on the sorter, the control system looks up to see which stores require that product, and then sorts it into the chute that has been allocated for that store and that family group.
Going to a batch-pick concept means labour can be kept relatively static, even though Kathmandu is dealing with some very different throughput days.
Picking e-commerce orders for free
One of the challenges Kathmandu faced is that e-commerce is a rapidly growing part of the business.
“What we saw with batch picking was a unique opportunity to pick e-commerce orders essentially for free,” said Mr Rawlinson. “The way we achieve that is by grouping those orders in with the store orders, so that if any store needs a product that’s been ordered online, the operator is simply told pick two instead of one.”
The items are sorted to a Dematic RapidPut wall, where an operator carries out a final sortation for the e-commerce orders and assembles those ready for packing.
At the put wall, an operator is faced with a chute where all the items for e-commerce orders have been consolidated.
The operator scans an individual item, and the system looks to see if the order has already been allocated a cubby in the put wall.
If it hasn’t, it allocates the cubby closest to the operator. After the item has been allocated to a cubby in the put wall, a put-to-light (PTL) display comes on at the front of the wall, directing the operator to the position in which they need to put the item. They then press a button to confirm the put operation.
The system automatically selects a small cubby for small orders and a large cubby for larger orders.
Each of the put walls has 144 locations, meaning that one put wall can deal with 144 e-commerce orders at any one time. On the rear of the put wall, lights indicate the next order to be packed.
With the configuration of the system, an order can be picked, processed, packed and fed to dispatch shortly after that order is made available for picking.
For more information visit www.dematic.com/en-au/.

Warehouse performance management software

Dematic has launched iQ InSights, a cloud-based asset performance management (APM) system that is said to unite order fulfilment and facility lifecycle management data for actionable intelligence that empowers users to make informed decisions that maximise overall warehouse logistics effectiveness.
Dematic iQ InSights holistically integrates facility-wide intelligence across warehouse and distribution systems, processes, and equipment so that managers can make data-driven decisions to fully utilise assets, increase operational performance, and add to the bottom line. The software is said to allow users to:

  • Maximise uptime.
  • Accelerate incident/resolution cycle time.
  • Enhance cross-function intelligence.
  • Reduce total cost of ownership.

It combines sophisticated enterprise asset management (EAM) software with real-time operational data and the power of cross-functional analysis and advanced analytics. Using Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) active intelligence, Dematic iQ InSights enables peak warehouse performance while reducing total cost of operations.
The holistic, warehouse-wide approach enables true visibility across equipment, labour, and facility to help customers measure, evaluate and optimise operations.

Narrow aisle reach AGV for freezers

Dematic has released a freezer-rated narrow aisle reach AGV specifically designed to operate autonomously in chilled and freezer environments. The AGV can operate permanently in temperatures down to -25°C and intermittently as low as -30°C.
With a lift height that can access five levels of racking in a typical warehouse, a 1,100 kg load capacity and a reach mechanism to handle double-deep racking , the AGV is well-suited for automating operations in existing freezer distribution facilities.
“Our new AGV are designed for automating existing freezer storage DC that are manually operated today,” said general manager sales for AGV at Dematic Australia and New Zealand Tony Raggio. “Companies can implement freezer-rated AGV for automated picking with minimal infrastructure changes and related costs.”
For manual operations, working in the tough, demanding freezer environment means that workers need frequent breaks from the cold. For every hour worked, a worker might need to spend 10 to 20 minutes out of the freezer. AGV systems may operate 24/7, picking and transporting product in the frozen environment and delivering that product seamlessly to warmer temperature shipping areas.
“Finding people to work in chilled and freezer environments is challenging,” Mr Raggio added. “Our customers can use these AGV in the frozen areas of their distribution facilities to create a fully automated ‘lights out’ automation arrangement.”
 

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