Woolworths breaks ground on new $135m distribution centre

Woolworths has commenced building works on the supermarket’s new Melbourne Fresh Distribution Centre (MFDC) in Truganina, Melbourne.
The multi-million state-of-the-art facility, which will be built by Vaughan Constructions, will store and deliver fresh produce and chilled products to hundreds of Victorian supermarkets, create 200 jobs during construction and 300 permanent new jobs when it opens in late-2020.
The custom-designed facility will replace Woolworths current operations at Mulgrave, and provide the leading national retailer with a market edge in terms of supply chain dynamics. The MFDC will be co-located with Woolworths’ meat supplier Hilton Meats’ production facility.
Co-location with Hilton and closer proximity to more fresh food suppliers will take up to 600 trucks off the West Gate Bridge each week and a further 3,000 truck movements off Melbourne roads each year.
“This development will help us deliver top quality fruit and vegetables to our customers fresher, faster and more efficiently than ever before. At one-and-a-half times the size of the MCG field, the distribution centre will provide a significant uplift in capacity to support our continued growth in Victoria. We’re proud to be investing in a best-in-class supply chain network in Victoria – delivering fresher food to our customers, taking trucks off Melbourne’s roads, and creating hundreds of new jobs,” Woolworths Chief Supply Chain Officer Paul Graham said.
At full capacity more than one and a half million cartons a week will move through MFDC bringing customers fresh fruit and vegetables and chilled goods from more than 500 suppliers.
The $135m investment on the MFDC is majority funded by landowner Charter Hall, with Woolworths signing an initial 15-year lease on the site. This builds on an extensive national relationship between Woolworths and Charter Hall across both industrial and retail properties.
The commissioning of the MFDC will take around 600 truck movements off the West Gate each week as Truganina is located closer to more Woolworths suppliers than Mulgrave. Co-location with Hilton Meats will take a further 3,000 truck movements off Melbourne roads each year as it eliminates shuttle runs between Mulgrave and Truganina.
The MFDC is also targeting a Five Star Green Star rating from the Green Building Council of Australia, with a solar panel system on the roof, charge points for electric trucks, and fuel savings of more than 400,000 litres each year from transport efficiencies. The Mulgrave Produce DC will continue to operate until the MFDC opens in late 2020.

Kaufland Australia has celebrated commencing construction of its distribution centre in Mickleham, Victoria.

German supermarket Kaufland to build mega-DC in Victoria

Kaufland Australia has celebrated commencing construction of its distribution centre in Mickleham, Victoria. The facility, with a total projected investment of $255 million, will utilise state-of-the-art technologies across automation, sustainability and efficiency, and create 600 new jobs for the area.
In a joint sod turning, Kaufland Australia directors Maximilian Wiedmann and Patrick Bezner thanked Hume City Council for its work ensuring the distribution centre met all planning and approval requirements.
“We would like to thank everyone who has helped us achieve this exciting milestone. To Hume City Council and to Merrifield Business Park, we are very grateful and proud to be standing alongside you today,” Mr Wiedmann said.
On completion, Kaufland’s distribution centre will have more than 117,000 square metres of building area and 130 loading docks.
“Australia is one of the fastest growing regions in the world, and we are excited to grow with it. Our distribution centre will be the beating heart of our supply chain and will ensure we provide an uncompromising quality food store for our customers,” Mr Wiedmann said.
In March 2019, Kaufland Australia announced the approval of its first three stores in Victoria at Dandenong, Epping and Chirnside Park. Kaufland Australia has also received planning approval for two sites in South Australia.

Schneider Electric has successfully completed the digital transformation of its Pacific SMART distribution centre (DC) in Ingleburn.

The SMART Distribution Centre opens

Schneider Electric has successfully completed the digital transformation of its Pacific SMART distribution centre (DC) in Ingleburn. The SMART DC is layered with Schneider Electric’s EcoStruxure technology, which drives end-to-end efficiency for the industrial environment, and also houses a control tower that is an innovative advance for supply chain management.
The SMART Ingleburn DC, is the largest in the Pacific and spread over 17,500m2, operating 24 hours a day, 5 days a week. It dispatches 5,000 lines over 70 routes (air and road) daily, servicing a total of 3,500 customers in Australia and New Zealand. The Digitisation of the SMART DC allows Schneider Electric to drive end-to-end efficiencies, bringing with it:

  • Agile management & Process Efficiency: Driving faster and better decisions from the teams to improve customer satisfaction and faster service
  • Asset Performance Management: Predictive analytics for reduced downtime and longer efficient operations
  • Empowered Operators: Access to real-time assets, data and innovative technology such as EcoStruxure Augmented Operator Advisor that allows increased efficiency in maintenance and processes and significant safety improvements
  • Energy Efficiency & Reliability: Reduced energy consumption through real-time insights delivered by EcoStruxure Resource Advisor and Facility Expert. This approach has shown potential savings of up to 30% energy savings.

The Ingleburn SMART DC hosts Schneider Electric’s Pacific Control Tower, a hub that improves supply chain visibility to detect and mitigate Supply Chain issues and interruptions to significantly improve predictability and reliability for customers.
“The innovative approach brings together in a single site logistics, customer care and personnel representing all our international and domestic transport carriers. This way information from global tracking dashboards can be openly and easily shared and discussed to quickly resolve queries and issues,” said zone president at Schneider Electric Gareth O’Reilly.
“The Control Tower approach has demonstrated a strong return on investment with a 65 percent reduction in time taken to resolve complaints.”
Smart DC and End to End Control Towers are central to Schneider Electric’s tailored, sustainable and connected (TSC) 4.0 strategy which aims to empower our teams, improve customer experience and end to end operational efficiencies.
Mr O’Reilly said: “We support our clients through the digitisation journey with our EcoStruxure IoT-enabled system architecture and platform. The Ingleburn Distribution Centre is an important player in our global network of Smart sites that showcases the EcoStruxure offerings to customers.”
The SMART DC uses EcoStruxure Power in order to better understand and reduce energy usage and EcoStruxure Machine and EcoStruxure Plant to help optimise assets and operational performance.

Specific products included:

  • PowerTags – wireless energy sensors that attach to circuit breakers and provide real-time electrical load data and e-mail alerts in the event of potential issues.
  • Easergy sensors – temperature and humidity sensors that automatically measure, monitor and control energy consumption and demand.
  • Facility Expert – cloud-based software and access to real-time performance data to optimise your facility operations, maintenance and energy management.
  • Resource Advisor – to aggregate all cross-enterprise, energy and sustainability information in a single, cloud-based platform and transform data into actionable insights to improve business operations.
  • Machine Advisor – a cloud-based services platform used to track machines in operation, monitor performance data and fix exceptional events.
  • Augmented Operator Advisor – a custom application that leverages augmented reality for instant diagnosis and contactless maintenance. This has the ability to potentially reduce maintenance and support costs by up to 50%.

The announcement of the SMART distribution centre (DC) comes in a week that Schneider also received a Gartner 2019 Industrial Manufacturing Supply Chainnovator award, ranked 11th in The Gartner Supply Chain Top 25 for 2019.
 

New smart distribution centre for Schneider Electric

Schneider Electric has announced the successful completion of the digital transformation to its flagship, Pacific Smart Distribution Centre (DC) in Ingleburn, New South Wales.
The Smart DC comprises of Schneider Electric’s EcoStruxure technology, driving end-to-end efficiency for the industrial environment, and housing an industry leading Control Tower.
Schneider’s Smart DC is one of the largest in the Pacific, spreading more than 17,500 square meters, and operating 24 hours a day, five days a week. It dispatches more than 5000 lines over 70 routes (air and road) daily, servicing more than 3500 customers in Australia and New Zealand.
“The innovative approach brings together in a single site logistics, customer care, and personnel representing all our international and domestic transport carriers. This way information from global tracking dashboards can be openly and easily shared and discussed to quickly resolve queries and issues,” said Gareth O’Reilly, zone president of Schneider Electric.
“The Control Tower approach has demonstrated a strong return on investment with a 65 per cent reduction in time taken to resolve complaints.”
“We support our clients through the digitisation journey with our EcoStruxure IoT-enabled system architecture and platform. The Ingleburn Distribution Centre is an important player in our global network of Smart sites that showcases the EcoStruxure offerings to customers,” Gareth said.

MHD-robots-in-the-warehouse-DC-automation

Robots in distribution centres – from MHD magazine

Mal Walker

Don’t worry, contrary to the terrifying Daleks portrayed in the long-running Dr Who series, robots are not taking over the world or the universe! In reality, they are more analogous to the friendly droids of Star Wars’ 3-CPO R2-D2 and BB8. They are loyal and faithful servants to their human and non-human masters.
This is good news for distribution centre operators, because the Star Wars ‘droids’ have morphed into a new generation of reliable DC robots that are revolutionising the logistics world!
Research from market intelligence firm Tractica reports that the worldwide sales of warehousing and logistics robots reached USD1.9 billion in 2016, with growth in coming years its projected to reach USD22.4 billion by the end of 2021. Manufacturers of robots can therefore expect unit shipments to increase from 40,000 in 2016, to 620,000 units annually by 2021 (reference: www.tractica.com).
But who is buying robots? Traditionally, it was manufacturers with repetitive production processes, but the robotic landscape has broadened to include distribution centres, mines, hospitals, hotels, casinos, offices, mines and others. In fact, any application where a process can be automated.

Should you use them in your DC?

In this article, I will briefly touch on the 13 most common types of robots that are being used in distribution centres, along with their characteristics and uses. This is by no means a comprehensive list, but it may help in working out what robots could be beneficial in your situation.
Firstly, how do you classify robots? Particularly as there are so many variants. The Tractica report lists the following four in the context of distribution centres.

  • Mobile robot platforms: automated guided vehicles (AGV) and autonomous vehicles.
  • Shuttle automated storage and retrieval systems: ASRS, featuring in-rack robots.
  • Industrial robotic manipulators: typical robotic arms that can be applied to countless applications.
  • Gantry robots: robots that run on overhead structures.

“If you are looking at robots as a solution, be sure to do your homework in terms of analysis, application and return.”

But what do they do, and how do you know if you would benefit from one, or more? To assist, I’ve developed a table that lists the types of robots and applications in warehousing facilities. Bur first here are some definitions that may be helpful.

  1. AGV

Generally used for transport of goods within a set path or circuit. May be guided by rails, lasers and sensors. These have been around for many years, but AGV technology has advanced and is far more affordable, reliable and applicable to many types of mobile equipment.

  1. Shuttle systems

Used within racking systems to place and retrieve stock. The racking maybe serviced by automatic conveyors or AGV, or manually by an operator.

  1. Autonomous mobile robots

These are free-path robots controlled to operate on the best put-away or picking path. Using sensors and cameras, they can navigate around a DC where people are working. They are ideal for goods-to-person and task-to-person applications.

  1. Stacker cranes

These are used in automated storage and retrieval systems for pallet handling. Yes, they have been around for many years, but they are a robot, nonetheless. They typically run on fixed-path rails systems.

  1. Mini-load stacker cranes

Related to the larger stacker cranes, mini-load cranes run on fixed rails installed within racking. They can achieve high rates of replenishment and picking and are now able to pick cartons, object and eaches to totes or conveyor belts.

  1. Industrial robotic order picker

Using conventional robots with articulated arms for picking and palletising/ depalletizing etc. has become common place. In recent years, visualisation technology has enabled robots to see and pick stock in units. If the robot does not have the right gripping device to pick items up, it merely changes to the right one, and continues picking.
And now some common operating modes:

  1. Goods-to-person

Where automation or a robot brings goods to a human for order picking purposes.

  1. Task-to-person

Where a robot brings a receptacle and picking intelligence/information to a picker, so that the picker can pick the required goods to specific order bins on the receptacle. (Amazon makes use of task-to-person robots in some locations.)

  1. Goods-to-robot

Automation or robots bring goods to a robot for order picking purposes

  1. Person to robot

A person brings goods to a robot for specific orders or sortation and delivery by the robot to a consolidation or packing zone. These robots can typically include tilt-tray devices for feeding goods into staging bays or directly to cartons.
MHD-robot-in-the-warehouse-DC-automation-table
Now that you know the common types of robots and operating modes, the charts should make some sense in terms of application. What is hard to define is the cost for automation and robotics. This is complex and depends on many factors too numerous to cover here. However, the evidence suggests that robots are becoming cheaper, reliable and easier to justify than ever before.
If you are looking at robots as a solution, be sure to do your homework in terms of analysis, application and return. If you do, you may be relieved that Dalek’s will not conquer your operation. Instead, be pleasantly surprised that robots may be more economical than you realise.
Mal is manager, consulting with the Logistics Bureau, where he works with local and international organisations to guide them in specification preparation, establishment and review of outsourcing contracts. He holds qualifications in engineering, business operations and logistics. For more information contact Mal on 0412 271 503 or email mwalker@logisticsbureau.com.
You can read the rest of MHD magazine March-April issue here: 
https://issuu.com/theintermediagroup/docs/mhd_march-april_2019
 

Amart Furniture signs 10-year lease for custom-built DC in Victoria

Amart Furniture has signed a 10-year lease agreement with Goodman Group to build a new distribution centre in the Connectwest Industrial Estate on Logistics Drive, Truganina, which will have an end value of $65 million. TM Insight worked with Amart Furniture to secure the deal.

The purpose-built facility at Truganina will provide a modern workplace for the Amart team, improve quality and service for Amart customers and will accommodate the company’s anticipated future growth when it opens in the first half of 2020.

Amart Furniture CEO Lee Chadwick said the new 48,770sqm custom-designed distribution centre would replace an existing cluster of warehouses in Somerton.

“The new distribution centre will provide a modern, safe and flexible workplace for our warehouse team. This was one of our top priorities when designing the facility,” he said.

Customers will also benefit from the contemporary distribution centre with Amart Furniture COO Scott Pears citing the potential for more efficient service and faster delivery times.

“The new Truganina distribution centre will streamline our supply chain network in Victoria and enable us to continually improve quality and customer service. This modern and consolidated design will allow for direct-to-customer deliveries, from either in-store or online purchases,” Scott said.

When complete, the Truganina distribution centre will have a significant expanse of racked storage locations to house an extensive range of product types and sizes; a drive-around design with dual loading faces; a mix of recessed loading docks and on-grade roller doors; and a cross-docking facility design with two large staging areas for inbound and outbound freight.

Miele: back to basics for warehouse efficiency

When leading appliances brand Miele revitalised its Eastern Seaboard distribution network with a three-site redevelopment plan across Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne, the focus was on getting the fundamentals right. Considering the company’s reputation for engineering prowess and innovative design, it should come as no surprise that they applied the same standards to their new distribution facilities – perfectly balanced form and function is in their DNA.
Whilst automation and robotics are being touted as supply chain solutions that would have been inconceivable a decade ago, they can also add complexity and distractions to the design process. Instead, Miele approached the design of its new warehouses with its unique sales model in mind.
Operations director Miele ANZ Mark Bateson explains: “Healthy growth in the Australian market was a key driver for change. We sought greater capacity while simultaneously strengthening consumer service and improving our operational efficiency.”
Unlike other appliance brands, the majority of Miele’s product lines are sold only through Miele Certified Agents (MCA) and items are not held in store but within Miele owned and operated distribution centres. The exceptions are vacuum cleaners and consumables (available for purchase online or instore) and are supplied direct from the retailer. Mr Bateson said keeping most of the operation in-house allows the company to have better control over its unique distribution model. And, he points out, better cost control and increased efficiency not only benefits the business but adds considerable value for the customer.
For the Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne redevelopments, a ten-year view was applied to the planning process, and plans had to allow for a substantial increase in throughput during that time.
Following the completion of the Knoxfield facility in Melbourne in 2016, Miele commenced planning the new distribution centres for Brisbane and Sydney. Mr Bateson explained that this allowed them to test the Knoxfield design and capitalise on the learnings in a drive for further enhancements.
Consequently, Miele engaged the services of Siecap Supply Chain Advisory to revise the design parameters of the Sydney and Brisbane sites and to undertake a detailed evaluation of storage options and their associated economic costs. The team conducted visits to the Melbourne site to observe first-hand the level of utilisation and then digitally mapped the data using its custom design evaluation software.
Director of consulting for Siecap Geoffrey Knowles explained: “We wanted to tighten bay widths where possible and we trialled different options with a clamp forklift to guarantee operational feasibility.” The Siecap team also reviewed the positioning of forklifts and cross aisles for ease of flow, and the placement of staff amenities to reduce unnecessary travel and downtime. “Everyone who has worked in or managed a warehouse knows how annoying it is to have a pillar in the wrong place,” Mr Knowles said.
“We gave the developer an efficient block-stacking layout around which they could wrap the building structure,” explained Mr Knowles. “We settled on high-density block stacking as the most cost-effective system in terms of floor space and speed of put-away and retrieval.”
When compared with Siecap’s storage cost metrics, this design worked out to be 40 per cent more efficient than the next alternative of double-deep pallet storage configuration.
A leading racking supplier installed the pallet racking. The racking design for both the new sites was a non-standard configuration due to the Euro pallets used by Miele, and design compliance to Australian standards was ensured.
The economics of varying building heights were examined. The difference between an 8-metre and a 10-metre ceiling height came down to minimal increase in lease costs, so Miele went with the taller of the two options. By designing the most economical floorplan, storage density was increased by more than 5 per cent over Miele’s Keysborough facility in Melbourne. “It may not sound a lot but every centimetre we can squeeze out of the space has an exponential cost saving for our clients,” Mr Knowles pointed out.
 

Woolworths to spend $57m on partly solar-powered DC

Woolworths has been building on its solar power capacity with each new DC. Photo shows the Melbourne South Regional Distribution Centre under construction.

Woolworths has turned the first sod on a $57 million expansion of the existing Adelaide Regional Distribution Centre (ARDC).
The project is expected to create approximately 140 local jobs throughout construction as Woolworths and Hutchinson Builders partner with local businesses on the 14 month building works.
The expanded ARDC is designed to deliver fresher, faster and more frequent deliveries to supermarkets in South Australia and the Northern Territory by mid-2020.
On completion, the expanded centre will span 94,000 square metres – more than four times the size of Adelaide Oval – boosting the capacity of the temperature control and ambient warehouse sections of the Gepps Cross site.
These expanded operations are set to significantly strengthen Woolworths’ 7-day-a-week delivery of fresh produce to communities across South Australia as well as into the Northern Territory.
Woolworths chief supply chain officer Paul Graham said: “This $57m expansion of our Adelaide DC forms a key part of our ambition to create a best-in-class supply chain network for our customers.
“The site’s proximity to the Adelaide markets has always been a strength, but this upgrade will allow for more frequent and faster deliveries to our stores to help fulfil our fresh food promise.
“We partner with dozens of local suppliers in South Australia, connecting products from growing regions including the Northern Adelaide Plain, South Murraylands, Riverland, Mallee, the Lime Coast and Adelaide Hills, to our customers.
“We have a long and proud history in South Australia, and this investment demonstrates our commitment to continued growth in the state and local jobs.”
Sustainable energy will help power the expanded distribution centre with Woolworths to install 3,500 solar panels (1.6MVa system) across the rooftop. This is the largest solar installation in Woolworths’ Australian network, and larger than the current installation at Adelaide airport.
The $2.5 million solar installation will provide around one-fifth of the centre’s energy needs, and produce enough green energy to power the equivalent of 300 homes.
Construction of an expanded recycling facility for pallets is also part of the project, reflecting our commitment to further reducing plastics and cardboard within our supply chain.
The expansion of Adelaide Regional Distribution Centre is to be funded by landowner, Growthpoint Properties, under a new 15-year lease over the entire distribution centre.

A DC for efficiency – from MHD magazine

Vivin Imports is one of Australia’s largest furniture wholesalers supplying major furniture retailers and independents. With recent growth in residential home construction and renovations, Vivin has experienced increased demand for its products across the country.
To accommodate this business growth, the company had to elevate its logistics capability to retain and build on its competitive advantage. The distribution centre was identified as a crucial contributor to supply chain efficiency and effectiveness. The Vivin management felt a critical change was required and committed to a new purpose-built 23,300m² distribution centre.
The next step was to decide how this distribution centre should be fitted out.
Vivin knew that it had capacity constraints in the existing warehouse, and adding to the complication was the regulatory compliance for fire safety coverage, particularly for foam products and mattresses. The new warehouse required a storage fitout to accommodate oversized products and ensure appropriate safety compliance.
The initial layout
Dexion Solutions was invited to put forward a proposal for the new distribution centre based on an existing pallet racking configuration supplied. This consisted of standard selective pallet racking with 2,600mm clear entry bays arranged to 3,420mm aisles throughout the warehouse. Half of this layout was to be fitted with in-rack fire sprinklers.
Experience has shown that this was an industry that adopted a ‘default’ layout, where there was no in-depth operational qualification of client operations undertaken. Based on the understanding that not all products have the same dimensional characteristics and demand profile, it is questionable why many businesses accept this ‘uniform’ arrangement.
It could be that there is a lack of understanding of warehouse operations among many suppliers. This results in them often taking a lowest ‘cost-only’ approach, which drives the design to what is often seen – a ‘default selective rack layout’. Likewise, many clients have a very good understanding of the price and product specifications, but not the value of the total fitout. That’s because this value can be difficult to explain in sufficient detail by those selling the equipment and as a result, both supplier and customer often agree on a ‘default’ layout.
To demonstrate the limitations of this default layout, the supplied 2D drawing was turned it into a 3D render. This gave Vivin a better perspective and understanding of the system with which they would end up, and also allowed the supplier team to highlight any potential shortfalls of the design.
Dexion Solutions go the extra mile to fully analyse the space and develop 3D renders where appropriate to ensure the customer has a thorough understanding of what can be achieved – adding so much more value and insight to the project. This additional stage in planning can also be recognised in ROI well into the future.
Developing a complete system
The team requested design-relevant data, which included a snapshot of inventory, transaction table and the item master. This was then backed up with operational site observation and development of a process logic to support the design. The purpose of this study was to retain what was being done well, as well as engineer out any existing limitations, risks and difficulties where possible.
This is what was found:

  • Standard 2,600mm clear entry bays did not provide optimised storage density for the range of products, so the design was altered to include a calculated combination of 2,600mm and 3,850mm clear entry bays.
  • To account for product overhang and a 100mm longitudinal flue in accordance with fire engineering and AS 4084:2012, this directed the design towards the specification of customised double entry frame depths of 2,106mm and 2,303mm respectively. The basic design only had a single double entry 2,106mm arrangement, which would have restricted the storage of oversized products like sofas.
  • Finally, no elevations were provided in the original design so these had to be calculated. Twelve (12) differing elevations were designed to accommodate the 100mm transverse flue space as per criteria specified in FM8-9.

Now that the storage profiles had been determined, it was time to develop a fully optimised warehouse layout. The storage system had to accommodate non-standard product sizes, all the while balancing productivity with storage.
To achieve this, the layout developed by Dexion Solutions comprised of 1,500 bays of selective Speedlock racking, with different frame depths and bay widths to accommodate variations in product dimensions.

Aisle widths
The original default design had 3,420mm aisles rack to rack, but was this adequate? Let’s consider how the space will be used.
2,100mm width pallets are put away and retrieved at ground level and at height. While the aisles are certainly wider than the pallet, the space doesn’t consider the materials handling equipment that will be used to manoeuvre the pallets. As shown in the diagram, the resulting sweep arc of a forklift turning towards the racking is not considered in the conforming design.
Adhering to a 3,420mm aisle would have resulted in a 343mm aisle width deficit! Aisle widths had to be increased to 3,850mm for operational viability, which was independently verified by the MHE provider. With larger aisle widths, the rack orientation was required to change from North to South to East to West due to the building column grid.
This flagged a significant change to the initial layout and it marked a fundamental change from being a storage-centric design to one that was operationally focused.
In-rack fire sprinklers
The initial layout directed that half the site be fitted with in-rack sprinklers. For this qualification, Dexion Solutions used inventory data and item master lookups to identify all the items that needed additional fire coverage. A line-by-line slotting calculation was applied. This was not as easy task!
From this exercise, it was determined that just over a quarter of the site required in-rack sprinkler coverage, quite a difference from half the site. This area allocation also accounted for likely and predicted storage variations. With a reduced area for in-rack sprinkler coverage, a significant cost saving was instantly realised. Combined with all the previous qualifications, this verification just added another layer to the optimised layout that could not be ignored.
Furniture repair zones
To complete the design, a concept of operations was developed, with staging areas and furniture repair zones laid out. The material flow was calculated along with the operational task sequences. This ensured that both the physical and logical designs were complementary to each other.
Warehouse management system integration
The system logic threads that were recommended could be applied to the warehouse management system (WMS) for configuration to achieve balanced task flows. The pertinent points about the operational sequences were the inclusion of batch and discrete order picking based on order profile waving, pick and drop locations for intermediary task staging, and task interleaving. With both the physical and logical designs undertaken in tandem rather than in isolation, a verifiable, auditable and clearly specified result was planned and achieved.
Labels and end-of-aisle signs
The design of the warehouse location map and the subsequent location labelling specification can be crucial to a project’s success. For Vivin, the Dexion Solutions team used 3,850mm beam lengths, which were mapped out and labelled for three locations per bay instead of the average of two locations across a shorter beam length. This will allow for the storage of one OR two non-standard product sizes whilst also allowing for flexibility to use each level for up to three standard pallets.
The labels are made of polyester with a long-term adhesive, making them ultra-durable and resistant to liquids. A unique feature of these labels is that they can be removed and relocated without tearing, offering even further flexibility for the customer.
End-of-aisle signs were also installed as an identification tool to clearly define the aisles amongst the racking bays.
Safety and compliance
Bay profiles were configured to conform with FM Global Fire Engineering transverse flue requirements. 100mm longitudinal flue space maintained between products for oversized products to conform with fire regulations (FM global requirement) and AS 4084: 2012.

“The material flow was calculated along with the operational task sequences.”

To further enhance the safety of the warehouse, Dexion Solutions also provided the following:

  1. Rack protection

The warehouse storage fitout was further enhanced with rack protection, including specially designed baseplates with heavy duty fixings, front and rear deflection guards, and upright protection. All upright protection used is in safety yellow, as this stands out most prominently against the racking creating a much safer warehouse environment.

  1. Safe working load signs

Safe working load signs were installed for each bay of racking. This ensures the storage systems does not get overloaded by warehouse operators, and meets Australian Safety Standards.

  1. Traffic management plan and line markings

A traffic management plan is crucial to creating optimal traffic flow throughout the warehouse and to minimising any risk of collisions. As part of a good traffic management plan, line markings can effectively segregate pedestrian and materials handling equipment, reducing the potential for accident or injury and ultimately improving overall workplace safety.
Conclusion
The design concentrated on the principle of balancing productivity with storage. All the work done was qualified by analysis, observation and logic, all of which are fundamental in any system design. The client’s interests were always in the equation and Dexion Solutions provided a value proposition, not just materials. This is added value that will be realised every day, year on year.
“The Dexion Solutions team really stood out from the start with their knowledge and comprehensive approach to storage systems, said Vivin Imports national logistics manager Mark Redman.
“Not willing to settle for the standard approach, James Hardy and the Dexion Solutions team analysed our operational data and business goals to completely optimise the warehouse space.
“The team was great to work with and through this experience we have gained insights that will be used to enhance our day-to-day warehouse functions. We’re confident this warehouse fitout will provide the business with a competitive advantage well into the future.”
For more information contact info@dexionsolutions.com.au or visit www.dexionsolutions.com.au. You can also view a video of this project here: https://youtu.be/_wQtCjPAybs.
 
 

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