In the current challenging economic environment, consumer spending is tight, business investment is restricted, and infrastructure spending – apart from a few over-publicised projects – is also being largely held back. The conditions are in fact perfect for a recession, and anyone in the trade of supplying high-value machinery for businesses could be forgiven for wanting to adopt a ‘batten down the hatches’ approach. Read more
Toyota Material Handling Australia (TMHA) has announced it has opened a new purpose built, state-of-the art facility for its branch in Orange, New South Wales.
The branch recently relocated from its former Cameron Place location to a prized position on a 2,000 square-metre site at the intersection of Northern Distributor Road and Astill Drive.
TMHA Orange branch manager Richard Bopping said the new premises is an improvement for staff and customers in every way.
According to Richard, the previous site’s workshop was also proving to be too cramped, given the branch’s growth in Central Western New South Wales.
“We operate across a massive area stretching as far out as Bourke, Cobar, Dubbo, across to Mount Vic and even occasionally Broken Hill and down to Cowra, and everything in-between such as Mudgee, Forbes, Parkes, Narromine,” he said.
“Our core business is our forklift rental fleet, which is over 200 units-strong and is serviced out of the branch. We have more than double that, again, with retail customers that we service and provide parts and repairs for.
“We also deal in warehousing equipment such as electric pallet jacks, stackers and also skid steers loaders. New products have come online recently – such as sweepers, scrubbers, scissor-lifts, vertical lifts and the Taylor Dunn product line – to name a few. These are opening opportunities for us to expand into other markets and with our new premises we are well-placed to support our expanding range,” he said
With a site (land) size of 2000m2 and a building of 880m2 – with office being 140m2 and another 140m2 for an office mezzanine level – TMHA Orange has ensured it has all the appropriate space it required, with the addition of future-proofing. “In the future we would be able to support a rental fleet double the size of our existing fleet of 200 units, we would have enough provisional space in our workshop to support that,” Richard said.
The new building has been built for TMHA with environmentally sustainable principles in mind. “We have greatly reduced environmental impact footprint with the new building. We have solar on the roof which will just-about negate any power bill and a water tank plus a greywater system for the building. And we were able to achieve all this at a similar cost to running our old one,” Richard concluded.
Jungheinrich is expanding its spare parts logistics capacities in Southeast Asia. With the opening of a spare parts centre in the Southeast Asian trade and logistics metropolis of Singapore, the company has reduced the delivery times of replacement parts by up to five days.
Jungheinrich customers all over Southeast Asia, Australia and New Zealand will benefit from the increased spare parts availability. This will enable Jungheinrich to also satisfy particularly urgent customer requests in the APAC region by providing round-the-clock access to spare parts.
“The new spare parts centre in Singapore will strengthen our position as the market leader in terms of spare parts availability by now also covering Southeast Asia and the Pacific area,” Stefan Brehm, Vice President of After Sales at Jungheinrich said.
“By bridging up to seven time zones, we will be able to react faster to the requests of our customers. For Jungheinrich customers, this represents minimal downtime and maximum productivity.”
In addition to the customer service aspect, environmental considerations at Jungheinrich also played an important role. Through the additional optimisation of the region’s transport network, CO2 emissions will be reduced by 75 per cent. Furthermore, the spare parts centre is a perfect example of efficient and intelligent warehouse management thanks to its modern lift rackings and lithium-ion powered forklift trucks.
The pharmaceutical industry
The pharmaceutical industry is a knowledge-based, technology-intensive industry that comprises bio-medical research, biotechnology firms, originator and generic medicines companies and service-related segments, including wholesaling and distribution.
The volume of the global pharmaceutical market has more than doubled in the past ten years. By the end of 2016, the global sales volume was estimated to have risen to nearly $A1.5 trillion.
In a snapshot from the CSIRO in 2017, the Australian medical technologies and pharmaceutical sector provided 48,000 jobs in total, across 50 pharmaceutical companies, 400 biotechnology companies and 500 medical technology companies.
And the importance of this industry is growing. Australia’s pharmaceutical market is set to rise to over $A25 billion by 2020.
This industry seeks to deliver medication and related health services that meet the best possible health and economic objectives, including timely access to medicines that meet appropriate standards of quality, safety and efficacy.
The simplified logistics and shortened supply chain of the 1930s, where most pharmacists were still mixing powders and vials and making tablets in their own pharmacies for delivery to customers, made it much easier to meet these objectives.
Today, medicines are distributed through a complex supply chain, which can be disrupted anywhere along its path, from manufacturing to dispensing. The pharmaceutical supply chain is a core part of Australia’s healthcare system, making medicines readily available to all Australians, regardless of location.
SSI SCHAEFER develops and implements supply chain solutions that cater for the future growth of pharmaceutical manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers. SSI SCHAEFER order fulfilment systems support everything from traditional wholesale distribution to omni-channel logistics, including fast-paced e-commerce requirements.
Pharmaceutical wholesalers procure, distribute and sell a wide range of pharmaceutical and medicinal products. These products include prescription medicines, pharmacy-only medicines, over-the-counter (OTC) medicines, other healthcare products and veterinary pharmaceuticals.
Pharmaceutical wholesalers in the Australian market generate $A14.6bn in annual revenue and employ around 13,000 staff.
Although the principles of a pharmaceutical supply chain are similar to other products and industries, there are very specific issues and characteristics that make it different. Within the supply chain there are a number of rigorous regulatory requirements, such as international customs and importation hurdles, complex transport and storage needs, massive SKU proliferation, and significant pressure to maintain continuity of supply.
Pharmaceutical supply chains are not only important for hospitals, practitioners and consumers, but are also important from social and political perspectives. The impacts of disrupted supply can be felt widely and quickly, and have serious ramifications. It is crucial that medicines be delivered at the right time to the right person in standard conditions. Improper distribution of medicinal products not only affects brand reputation, customer satisfaction and company profits, but can also disrupt the healing processes of patients and negatively impact public health.
“Consistent, reliable service levels are clearly paramount, as is the compliance with regulatory requirements.”
Factors that contribute to unanticipated shortages of medicines include manufacturing faults, logistical failures and unexpected or unpredictable disease outbreaks. Additionally, unexpected safety signals may require recalling of batches with a consequential scarcity of remaining supplies at short notice.
With notable unexpected shortages, the vulnerability of the supply of medicines is exposed. Supply may be restricted or delayed anywhere in the supply chain from manufacturing to the dispensary. The high margins on pharma products, coupled with the limited patent lifespans, mean pharmaceutical companies must significantly focus on maintaining supply.
Consistency. End-user customers demand the highest standards of quality and with zero-fault tolerance. Consistent, reliable service levels are clearly paramount, as is the compliance with regulatory requirements.
Regulation. The foundations of Australia’s pharmaceutical supply chain have shifted over recent years due to global and local factors. The NMP (National Medicines Policy) commits to providing timely, Australia-wide access to affordable medicines that meet appropriate standards of quality, safety and efficacy, while maintaining a responsible and viable medicines industry.
Internationally, the industry is moving towards the new Goods Distribution Practice (GDP), which is similar to the Good Wholesaling Practice, but extends the requirements around handling, transportation and traceability. Incorporating these will add challenging logistics hurdles that demand significant investment in existing Australian infrastructure.
Pack variety. There is a significant variety of packaging in the pharmaceutical industry – a vast array of box sizes and dimensions, packets and satchels, glass vials and jars including liquid dosage, plastic bottles etc. Also, packaging must be safeguarded throughout the logistics chain to maintain perfect appearance, not only for aesthetics but also for clarity of essential identification.
The rise of generics. Over recent years, the percentage of generics in the market has been steadily increasing and they are estimated to account for about 90 percent of all prescriptions by 2020 9 This continues to significantly contributes to SKU growth with wholesalers.
“Supply chain visibility is considered of major importance and a significant challenge facing the industry.”
An increasing number of prescriptions. Alongside the rise of generics, there has been an overall rise in the number of prescriptions, in the vicinity of 6.8 per cent in 2015. As the demand for medicines continues to grow, more accurate forecasting and inventory management have become increasingly important.
The rise of cold chain logistics. With demand for cold chain logistics growing, it has become increasingly difficult for pharmaceutical companies to manage fluctuations in demand for temperature-dependent medicines, which can result in exceedingly high inventory costs due to the cooling requirements. This can be of high concern in the Australian market, particularly evident during the hottest January on record that we experienced this year.
The European GDP guidelines extend adherence to storage conditions, as indicated on the packaging, to the transportation leg of the journey. The compliance requirement has long been adhered to with cold chain products – generally anything below 8°C. However, it is new for the majority of the products found in most medicine cabinets, often labelled for 25°C. For example, in practice, the GDP guidelines now apply to about 80% of pharma products in the EU.
Supply chain visibility. Many products are highly sensitive and require end-to-end documentation. Visibility is the ability to track and trace prescription medication. It is also essential to monitor and comply with expiration dates. Supply chain visibility is considered of major importance and a significant challenge facing the industry. Management’s ability to achieve a nearly risk-free environment is primarily enabled by visibility technology that introduces intelligence into every step of the healthcare supply chain.
Storage locations. Storage and picking of pharmaceuticals dictates significant variety and different environments. There is also a need for dedicated storage areas for different types of products such as OTC medications and products, narcotics and hazardous chemicals. Some items require cooling, and others must be held in secure storage.
Order fulfilment systems
SSI SCHAEFER draws on a wealth of expertise and technologies to facilitate the continuous and efficient supply of products in the pharmaceutical industry. SSI SCHAEFER’s order fulfilment systems, whether manual, semi, or fully automated, can flexibly be adapted to the increasing requirements and demands of this industry sector, and include:
- Carton and tote bin conveyor and handling systems for efficient material flow.
- High productivity ‘goods-to-person’ order picking systems.
- ‘A-frame’ fully automated product dispensers.
- Product and order verification scanning machines.
- Automatic storage and retrieval systems for tote bins and pallets.
- Warehouse management software for manual or automated warehouses delivering:
- Serial number tracking through automatic recording of data.
- Expiry date management through stock monitoring and automatic early expiry date detection.
- Automatic-guided transport systems.
- Robots for both picking and pallet loading.
- RF, voice or light directed manual picking to order cartons or pallets.
- Plastic tote bins for product storage and order delivery.
“Synchronisation between the collector belt and the order totes ensures a continuous stream of automatically picked products, up to 10,000 items an hour.”
SSI SCHAEFER goods-to-person high productivity picking systems eliminate walking by automatically retrieving products from an automatic storage system and conveying them to an operator at an ergonomically designed pick station. Order totes or cartons are also automatically conveyed in and out of the pick station, allowing the operator to continually fulfil orders without moving from the station. A combination of displays and light curtains ensures high accuracy and productivity. Operators can pick individual items, shelf packs or small cartons at the station.
SSI SCHAEFER A-frames automatically dispense pharmaceutical products onto a collector belt that runs through the centre of the A-frame and automatically delivers the collected items into an order tote or carton. Synchronisation between the collector belt and the order totes ensures a continuous stream of automatically picked products, up to 10,000 items an hour, making the A-frame ideal for dealing with fast moving small items in peak times.
Warehouse management software
SSI SCHAEFER’s warehouse management software, WAMAS, intelligently manages the end-to-end processes in both manual and automated distribution centres. WAMAS ensures tight integration between the various automated subsystems and operational processes, and is rich in the functionality required for pharmaceutical distribution, including:
- Batch-lot & product ID tracking.
- Check weighing.
- Order cubing.
- Route prioritisation.
- Order consolidation.
WAMAS manages and controls all intralogistics processes including efficient and flexible order processing, goods movement, and resource optimisation, along with the provision and analysis of logistics performance data so critical to the supply chain visibility required by the pharmaceutical industry.
SSI SCHAEFER is a strong partner to the pharmaceutical industry, having worked with many of industry leaders over the last 20 years. Contact SSI SCHAEFER directly for case study evidence. For more information, call +61 2 8799 3600 or visit www.ssi-schaefer.com.
Chevin Fleet Solutions has announced the appointment of thirteen new team members across Australia, Europe and North America.
Laura Jones, joining as financial controller, will be responsible for managing the company’s accounts across the entire global operation.
Darren Trueman, Neil Robinson, Michael Kowalewicz and Cristian Tobol have been appointed as software developers alongside product developers Arun Purewal, Sam Hufton, Athanasios Kaloudis. Bringing young talent into the team, Alex Bright and Jay Smith take on the roles of IT apprentice developers.
Chris Cooper has joined as a junior business analyst and Simon Haley as a Project Manager. Audrey Guillet joins the marketing team as Marketing Executive on a six-month internship from France. Audrey’s role will support communications activity across the company’s French operation.
“We are very fortunate in being able to bring onboard such experience to the team. The company is entering another exciting growth phase following recent contract wins and these new appointments will support the existing teams in helping drive the business forward. I am delighted to welcome them to the team,” Ashley Sowerby, Managing Director, said.
Crown Equipment’s customer-centric philosophy is shaping the way the company develops its products as well as how it interacts with current and prospective customers.
The company has been bringing innovation to the Australian material handling industry for more than 50 years and is constantly reviewing and refining all of its customer touch points to position itself at the forefront of customer service in the industry. This focus has been driven in parallel with the evolution of its products, which helps provide customers with productivity improvements whilst also ensuring operators receive the latest technology to make their jobs safer and easier.
Managing director Greg Simmonds said Crown’s customer-focused philosophy has always guided its decisions but has become a more crucial element in a world where customers are expecting more.
“At Crown we’ve always had success with building and maintaining strong, productive relationships with businesses, from start-up companies through to global entities,” Mr Simmonds said.
“However, technology is constantly improving and these days there are better ways of holding a mirror up to your own performance when it comes to meeting customers’ needs.
“At our head office in Sydney we have a dedicated team focused on measuring our customer service performance. Our management, as well as the culture throughout the organisation, is focused on acting on what we learn to make us a better fit for our customers.
“Our aim is to be number-one in one specific area: customer service.
“We see this as being just as important as the new technology and commerce platforms we are rolling out to customers, which include e-commerce, semi-automation and other new technology that will have a strong impact on the interaction between humans and increasingly advanced machinery.”
Online and face to face
Crown has adjusted its ratio of online versus face-to-face sales to bring added convenience to customers while providing the right advice where it really counts.
The company entered Australia’s online material handling sales arena in December 2016 with a website dedicated to selling Crown PTH Series hand pallet trucks.
Following a positive reaction from customers and ongoing research into business-to-business buying preferences, Crown is now expanding its e-commerce activities to include other products that are well suited to this streamlined approach.
The company’s increasing use of online sales has enabled its sales force to increase its focus on the areas of material handling that require specialised knowledge and experience to determine best-fit solutions for particular applications.
According to director of sales Craig Kenchington, creating the right balance of online and face-to-face sales is an important part of the company’s customer focus.
“Crown is increasing its online sales presence and the launch of our website selling hand pallet trucks online was an instant hit,” Mr Kenchington said.
“Our practices are backed up by experience as well as industry data showing dramatic changes in business-to-business buyer behaviour, with a large and growing number of customers who prefer to do their own research online for certain products.
“The convenience of being able to buy our robust hand pallet truck, which works well in any environment, straight from our website with competitively priced shipping has proven very attractive to many of our customers.
“They are asking for additional product options so we’ve updated our e-commerce site to include WP Series power pallet trucks and M Series stackers, with more to come.”
However, many customers must deal with warehouse variables including size, shape, ceiling and doorway openings, racking systems, mezzanine levels, power capabilities, fire extinguishing systems and warehouse management systems. Managing these factors requires a trained professional and a company prepared to back its products. Companies that only sell material handling equipment online are at a disadvantage in these situations which can, in turn, put the customer at a disadvantage.
“Finding the right products to perform material handling tasks as efficiently as possible, which fit the physical dimensions of the warehouse and racking system and suit the budgetary requirements of the customer, is a job that requires consultation based on solid expertise,” Mr Kenchington said.
“Now more than ever, the guidance of a genuine material handling professional is essential to meet operational efficiency and compatibility expectations when populating a warehouse with lift trucks and reach trucks.”
Involving a material handling expert in warehouse equipment procurement brings the potential to identify areas of the business that can benefit from existing and upcoming technology, including semi-automation and fleet management. An increasingly important element in running a lift truck fleet is the fitment and compatibility of fleet management systems.
“Crown’s InfoLink fleet management system has become one of the most important factors in the sale of lift trucks to medium and large businesses,” Mr Kenchington said.
“That is because of its potential to reduce impacts – and therefore damage – while providing valuable information on lift truck usage and improve the overall safety culture within a warehouse.
“A material handling professional who visits a site to gain an understanding of a company’s practices is able to make a judgement on how much a company can benefit from its use and make recommendations for its implementation.
“Further to that, these systems initially require fine-tuning onsite to get the full savings and safety benefits they are capable of providing.”
Whilst online sales can add convenience to the purchase of simple products, companies that operate as a ‘one-stop shop’ for material handling needs add another dimension of simplicity for dealing with what can be a complicated task.
“In addition to helping you find the right lift truck for your conditions and setting them up with fleet management systems, Crown personnel are also experts in racking, shelving and accessories and can help develop an empty space into a fully functioning warehouse through dealing with just the one organisation,” Mr Kenchington said.
“We can also train operators with the skills required in a material handling environment, either onsite or through our extensive branch network throughout Australia.
“We believe in the convenience of the products we offer online and our e-commerce activities reflect Crown’s customer-centric approach. It’s an important complement to our sales channels.”
Automatic for customers
Crown’s customer-centric approach is also guiding the roll-out of its semi-automation technology into the Australian lift truck market.
Throughout the Crown global regions, Crown’s technology business development strategy focuses on integrating new technologies into mainstream organisations in a measured fashion. It was created to provide improved operator management, safety and productivity that fully tested semi-automated equipment can offer, while shielding customers from the potential dissolution that can follow the hype and excitement associated with technological advancements.
The strategy has resulted in a semi-automated product suite consisting of Crown’s Auto Positioning System (APS) and Auto Fence operator-assistance for VNA equipment. These will be offered alongside Crown’s award-winning Quick Pick Remote (QPR) order picking technology, which has already proven to provide significant case picking productivity in applications where material flow optimisation is understood.
However, according to Crown Pacific Rim director of technology and business development Chris Ansell, the company’s approach is not about ‘technology for the sake of it’. Instead, Crown will be assessing interested customers’ businesses for the best solutions to their current and future material handling needs.
“Our aim has always been to provide customers with an equitable return on investment from every one of our products, whether it be a hand pallet truck or a turret stock picker,” Mr Ansell said.
“Some companies advertise their automated material handling products as ‘must-haves’ for businesses, without explaining that they are not necessarily the silver bullet they are searching for to provide optimal warehouse efficiency.
“Therefore our approach in discussing automation with our customers will be to first find out where they stand with material flows.
“In many cases we have been able to advise customers on how to extract more performance and efficiency from non-automated lift trucks, instead of taking on the commitment of an automated solution.
“Once we’ve established that automation is the right path to increased productivity for a particular customer, we will work with them to come up with the best solution for their needs.
Currently Crown has designated the MPC 3000 Series and GPC 3000 Series pallet transporters and the TSP Series turret lift trucks for production with integrated semi-automation technology.
While Crown has invested considerably in semi-automated equipment, the company expects humans to remain an important part of material handling well into the future.
“At Crown we’ve always believed that higher levels of productivity can be achieved through attention to design, ergonomics and user interfaces,” Mr Ansell said.
“Automated products currently make up less than two per cent of the global market but we’re expecting that to grow steadily over the next decades and our future offerings will accommodate this trend with thoroughly developed equipment.
“However, none of our projections suggest that humans will be removed from the equation in material handling.”
Number-one in customer service
Crown built its reputation through great customer service and its increased focus on its customer-centric culture is what the company’s management believe will allow it to be seen as number-one.
“At Crown we don’t take any form of interaction with customers for granted,” Mr Simmonds said.
“More than ever, being able to listen to customers properly, find the best solution which makes them the most profit, while supplying and maintaining it as effectively as possible, is crucial for our mutual success.
“Working with Crown is a collaboration which, to us, begins as soon as we answer an enquiry.
“We have always used customer feedback to improve our operations but it’s now a systematic part of our procedures, management and culture. It’s become both a science and an art here at Crown.
“We know that customers are expecting and demanding more. We’ve got the technology, infrastructure, products and experience to deliver this, as well as the passion and drive to serve customers better than the rest.”
For more information call 131 604 or visit www.crown.com.
Crown Equipment has joined forces with Australian industrial cleaning machinery supplier Conquest Equipment Technologies to expand its equipment range.
The partnership means Crown can now supply heavy-duty cleaning equipment along with racking, shelving and other infrastructure that is part and parcel of a complete warehouse fit-out.
Crown Equipment’s general manager for warehouse solutions Brett Stewart said the partnership with Conquest was born from a combination of customer feedback and the company’s focus on increasing its capability as a ‘one-stop shop’ for warehouse solutions.
“The idea of getting involved with a commercial cleaning equipment supplier came about because Crown sales staff were frequently being asked if we could supply industrial sweepers and other types of cleaning equipment,” Mr Stewart said.
“We looked at a number of industrial cleaning equipment suppliers and we chose to work with a reputable, family-run company with Australia-wide support.
“Conquest is a natural fit for Australia’s number-one electric lift truck company.”
Through Conquest, Crown can now supply Australia’s most advanced range of commercial cleaning products with floor sweepers, floor scrubbers and street sweepers for industrial, retail, corporate, and healthcare applications.
The comprehensive range includes walk-behind and ride-on sweepers and floor scrubbers as well as a range of street sweepers and commercial floor-stripping machines.
Mr Stewart said Conquest shares similar business values with Crown such as focusing on the customer.
“Crown and Conquest are utilising similar synergies – our customers are the same as their customers when it comes to us meeting their needs and finding solutions.”
Mr Stewart says the partnership is a complimentary business model that will position well with Crown and perfectly benefit customers.
“For our customers it means dealing with one salesperson rather than numerous companies for warehousing needs and that has to make things easier.”
Conquest Equipment Technologies’ managing director Michael Mathews said Conquest always finishes with the right solution and believes the Crown alliance is 100 per cent the right way to go.
“We’ve been dealing with Crown for a number of years now and we’re excited to work with a market leader with a good reputation. Like us, customer service and support is always Crown’s number-one priority.”
In global terms, Conquest is a successful Australian business that has been operating for more than 40 years at a national level, competing against big international companies in the broader marketplace.
Crown Equipment’s national sales team members are trained with the knowledge needed to provide expert advice on Conquest equipment in addition to Crown’s lift truck and Warehouse Solutions ranges.
Crown Equipment has joined forces with Australian industrial cleaning machinery supplier Conquest Equipment Technologies. https://www.dropbox.com/sh/864qfh3i7g2wzkh/AADMkjbigzw_9mWCG9UxD58Ra?dl=0
[PQ if needed:] “The comprehensive range includes walk-behind and ride-on sweepers and floor scrubbers as well as a range of street sweepers and commercial floor-stripping machines.”
Matt and Tony Bell.
Dexion Solutions is opening a Dexion Supply Centre in Melbourne’s Western suburbs, in Yarraville.
Located just 15 minutes from the Melbourne CBD, the Yarraville premises provides greater access to the business’s high level of expertise. It marks the business’s second location in Melbourne, with the other situated in Dandenong South.
Dexion Solutions’ managing director Matt Bell said: “Having a presence in both the Western and Eastern suburbs of Melbourne is a real benefit to our customers and staff, and extends our market reach even further.”
Dexion Solutions is the largest Dexion Supply Centre in Australia and has a unique range that sets the business apart from other distributors in the Dexion network.
With more than 65 industry experts based in key locations across Australia and New Zealand, Dexion Solutions is equipped to handle every aspect of a warehouse or retail fitout, including the ongoing management of customer-owned materials with a unique ‘3PL’ service.
Dexion Solutions’ management is “focused on building the best team in the industry and hopes this new location will attract even more great minds”. Dexion Solutions’ director Tony Bell said: “Dexion Solutions is committed to servicing our loyal customers and ensuring that we have the best people in our industry. This is only achievable by our multi-site approach and is demonstrated by our two offices in Melbourne, as well as Brisbane, Perth and Auckland.”
The new premises in Melbourne’s West is located at Unit 1, The Base, 10 Cawley Street, Yarraville. This recently developed estate in a growing area of Yarraville is positioned only a few minutes from the freeway.
The space includes an office and boardroom, along with a showroom for customers to view a select range of the available product range.
Pharmaceutical supplier Sanacorp and KNAPP have been working together for decades. The first site where automated systems were implemented was the Sanacorp subsidiary in Ulm. Today, 15 Sanacorp sites use KNAPP’s automation technology, including conveyor systems and central belt auto pickers tailored specifically to pharmaceutical wholesale requirements.
Combined with Sanacorp’s own software landscape, the KNAPP technology ensures stable operating performance without downtime and high order processing efficiency. This supports Sanacorp in the fulfilment of its quality promise: to supply customers reliably and on time.
Complete transparency with KNAPP-Store
Sanacorp now also relies on new KNAPP technology at its subsidiary in Bad Segeberg. KNAPP-Store is used for the slow-moving article range, which increases the degree of automation considerably. With KNAPP-Store, KNAPP meets current pharmaceutical industry requirements – among other things, the autopicker supports lot tracking and the recognition of security features, thereby providing transparency of all stored articles.
Along with the KNAPP-Store, the high-performance SDA autopicker is used for processing fast-moving articles at Sanacorp, which allows high order volumes to be processed efficiently and safely. Thanks to the fusion of central belt systems, KNAPP-Store and SDA, the fastest and most expensive order lines can be processed within one system.
Article data capture with iScan
During receipt in the goods-in area, articles suitable for the KNAPP-Store are scanned and thereby allocated to an order container, which is then transferred on the conveyor to its storage work station. The work stations are equipped with an intuitive touch screen monitor for straightforward operation. There, the employee places the articles on the storage conveyor – no time-consuming pre-sorting necessary. The image recognition technology iScan captures all article data automatically, including the article’s measurements. Errors are therefore eliminated up front during movement into the KNAPP-Store.
High storage performance
The two-arm gripper system of the KNAPP-Store is in charge of automatic storage with a transfer gripper placing the articles on buffer trays. The grippers take the articles from the buffer trays and store them randomly in the KNAPP-Store. The buffer function allows a single person to operate all 4 KNAPP-Stores simultaneously. This way, Sanacorp achieves very high storage performance at minimum personnel costs.
“Errors are therefore eliminated up front during movement into the KNAPP-Store.”
Monitoring the article’s features with precision is easy with the KNAPP-Store. Articles with a specific date mark, lot or serial number can be retrieved at the touch of a button and be picked in due time. That’s why the KNAPP-Store is a particularly efficient for returns that require considerable organisational effort to be fed back into the picking procedure, due to different lot numbers and date marks.
“The two-arm gripper system of the KNAPP-Store is in charge of automatic storage with a transfer gripper placing the articles on buffer trays.”
When it comes to picking, the gripper moves to the specified position, picks up the requested articles, and transfers them to the buffer boxes on the retrieval side of the KNAPP-Store. The buffer boxes transfer the articles to an allotted order space on the central belt conveyor in the same way as the fast-moving auto-picker SDA does. At the transfer station the articles are dropped into the dispatch container. All articles of an order are consolidated from all picking areas such as the manual area or the cold-storage area and once the order is completed, the articles are transported towards the goods-out area. A lid is automatically placed on the containers before they are ready to be loaded and dispatched to the pharmacies.
For more information contact Michael Kemeny on +61 428 884 177, email Michael.Kemeny@Knapp.com or visit www.knapp.com.
Founded in 1924, Sanacorp is the oldest pharmacy cooperative in Germany and is one of the leading companies in pharmaceutical wholesale. Sanacorp is a company run by pharmacists for pharmacists. Its 16 regional branches across Germany ensure the comprehensive, economical and reliable delivery of medicines and health products to 8,000 pharmacies. Sanacorp also supports pharmacists with market-appropriate strategies and measures ranging from logistics to quality management and marketing activities, in order to promote the competitiveness of independent pharmacists and ensure their independence.
- Space-saving storage and efficient picking of a broad range of products is possible with the KNAPP-Store.
- The innovative central belt combination of KNAPP-Store and fast-moving autopicker boosts both quality and efficiency at Sanacorp.
- Automatic capturing of product master data with iScan.
- The KNAPP-Store is easy to operate via a touch screen.
- Optimal storage density and low storage location costs.
- The fusion of central belt systems, KNAPP-Store and SDA allows the fastest and most expensive order lines to be processed within one system.
Dexion has designed and installed what is believed to be New Zealand’s most advanced integrated warehouse system to enable the world-leading Auckland-based plastic food container manufacturer Sistema better service retail contracts in Europe and the United States.
Sistema designs and makes high quality, stackable, food-safe storage containers in its Auckland manufacturing and distribution facility and supplies these products to millions of customers in 82 countries around the world. The company is one of New Zealand’s leading export manufacturers.
Founded in a garage 30 years ago by managing director Brendan Lindsay, Sistema is now famous for its ‘Klip It’ collection of storage containers with their distinctive blue clips. That range has been added to with the ‘Microwave’ and ‘To Go’ families of products.
The business challenge
To meet rapidly growing global demand for its plastic food storage and cooking containers, including from leading European and United States retail chains, Sistema commissioned a new multi-million dollar manufacturing and distribution facility to be built at The Landing Business Park at Auckland International Airport. Sistema’s site is New Zealand’s largest privately owned manufacturing facility covering 25 hectares.
Kerrect Logistics consultant Scott Kerr, who was appointed to manage the supply and installation of an integrated material handling system for the new facility, says the challenge was to design a distribution system capable of handling future throughput requirements, predominantly driven by increased export volumes.
Kerr said the material handling system was critical to Sistema’s future success as it would drive the whole distribution operation, from receiving products from production to dispatching product at the container docks.
The project also had specific business and technical requirements, including:
- Sistema had to move from its existing premises into the fully operation new facility in 12 months.
- The new material handling system had to be integrated to a new Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software system Sistema was concurrently implementing.
Dexion’s proposed material handling installation for Sistema started with a careful analysis of the company’s current business and future plans.
“We wanted to ensure our solution would enable Sistema to achieve its current goals and also its future growth targets by proposing a fully automated, scalable solution,” said Dexion regional sales manager for integrated systems Dan Austin.
“We submitted a formal proposal in response to Sistema’s request for proposals along with a presentation and then conducted workshops with the company to refine concepts. We demonstrated our capability by showing Sistema through sites with similar systems to that proposed.”
At the heart of the Dexion’s proposal is an automated storage and retrieval system (ASRS) for storing and despatching pallets of product bound for export markets. The system features:
- Over 15,000 pallets of ASRS racking in multi-deep configuration.
- Five storage and retrieval machines (SRM).
- A pallet conveyor system, including four pallet elevators and two high-speed transfer cars.
- Over 15,000 pallets of Dexion’s Speedlock single-selective racking.
- Dexion’s Real-time Distribution System (RDS) software comprising Warehouse Control System (WCS) for control of the automation, and Warehouse Management System (WMS) for control of warehouse inventory and associated processes: receiving, put-away, replenishment, picking, dispatch, cycle counting etc.
Mr Austin said Dexion had a dedicated and highly experienced project management team who developed the overall program to ensure go-live at the required time.
With the ASRS installed, Sistema’s manufacturing and warehousing operations are now fully integrated. Products come straight off the manufacturing line into assembly and storage – a process managed by Dexion’s RDS software.
The system enables 24×7 operations – it is high density, high throughput, accurate and has the flexibility allow for growth of the business.
“Sistema uses technology to design and build its products, and now with this system it has a world-class material handling installation designed to meet its specific requirements,” said Mr Austin.
Dexion’s material handling system is meeting Sistema’s throughput and storage requirements exactly as planned with the required capacity for the future. And the software implemented by Dexion has worked seamlessly and manages all processes as planned.
Mr Austin said the key reasons for success are:
- A strong local Dexion presence and solution development team.
- Strong experience in the implementation of ASRS systems.
- High-quality product from Dexion and strategic partners.
- An experienced and professional project management team.
- An experienced software engineering team.
- A strong relationship with Sistema and a team approach to delivering the solution.
On completion of the project, Sistema founder and managing director Brendan Lindsay and CEO Drew Muirhead summed up their appreciation: “We wish to acknowledge the tremendous efforts of Dexion and the project team to deliver this solution as promised under some very demanding circumstances and challenges.
“Sistema has learnt much from this journey and, more importantly, we have collectively delivered a world-class facility of which we should all be proud, in full and on time. Well done and thanks.”
For more information call +61 412 689 072, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.dexion.com.au.
Shipping company Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics ASA (WWL) – also known as Wallenius Wilhelmsen Solutions (WW Solutions) – has terminated its November 2017 plan to sell its inland transportation and technical service business in Australia to Australian vehicle storage and transportation company Prixcar, in exchange for a 20 per cent ownership share in Prixcar.
In a statement, WWL noted that the company is “well positioned for further growth in the Australian market” and now wishes to pursue new opportunities.
WWL has been working to find a partner to be able to grow in the land-based logistics market in Australia. The company has noted that is has been “fully committed” to a partnership, but due to a number of delays to the process and significant changes, has made the decision to withdraw from the transaction.
“The company is now well positioned for further growth in the high and heavy equipment space, especially in light of the capabilities added to the group with the recent acquisition of Keen Transport in North America,” the company stated.
Ray Fitzgerald, Chief Operating Officer, WW Solutions, added: “Our fundamentals are good and our ambition within the Australian market matches our global strategic objective to build unrivalled capability to serve the high & heavy equipment industry.”