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.

SSI SCHAEFER announces 2018 Distributor of the Year

Better Storage Systems has won SSI SCHAEFER’s 2018 Distributor of the Year Award. The award was announced and presented to Darren Bykersma, Better Storage Systems managing director by Brian Miles, regional managing director of SSI SCHAEFER, at the annual distributor meeting held in Sydney recently.
Darren Bykersma said: “We are so pleased to win this year, particularly in our 10th year of operation. The whole team at Better Storage has worked so hard and deserves to share the award and celebrate. I want to thank my team – together we conquer,” he said.
Winning in 2018 is the third time for Better Storage Systems. The annual award recognises the distributor’s excellent sales performance, its promotion of SSI SCHAEFER products and its willingness to work in partnership with SSI SCHAEFER. It follows a very successful year where Better Storage delivered a large number of substantial installations.
“We congratulate the whole Better Storage team on winning this award in 2018. Better Storage has excelled this year by delivering some great customer installations and growing their business,” said Brett Thirup, general manager, sales and engineering for SSI SCHAEFER.
 
 

Get more space – from MHD magazine

When you start getting tight in your warehouse, optimisation and scaling your operations can boost your space

  1. Optimising your warehouse storage space

Warehouse functions are an integral part of business operations, so getting the storage flow and functionality right should be at the top of the list of priorities. But all too often, we see warehouses operating with workarounds and outdated racking, resulting in an ineffective storage space and a potentially hazardous work environment.
No two businesses have exactly the same storage requirements, so the pallet racking layout should be designed accordingly to get the most out of the space. Ideally this is something that should be planned prior to selecting a warehouse, as warehouse size and location are also important factors.
A well-optimised storage space takes careful planning and a good understanding of the storage options available. Each storage system has different features that can accommodate different products and carton flow. Perhaps there is also a need for different storage systems for specific areas of your warehouse.
So, when planning to move into a new warehouse or reconfigure your existing facility, we encourage you to take the time assess your existing operational needs and carton sizes to plan your storage facility for the most efficient use of the space.

What are the benefits of optimising your storage facility?
Optimising a warehouse for pallet flow and business scalability offers a number of substantial benefits. Benefits that keep paying off for many years – such as reducing the time it takes to pick orders, improving work processes and the ability to adapt to changing business environment.
By optimising your warehouse with the right storage system, you can even increase the number of pallet spaces available. A much more economical solution compared with moving into a larger warehouse.
What does an optimised storage space consider?

  • The dimensions and weight of products to be stored.
  • Stock levels.
  • Stock movement (frequency in and out of warehouse).
  • Materials handling equipment.
  • Slotting
  • Staging areas required.
  • Building compliance.
  • Workplace health and safety.
  • Temperature requirements (i.e. freezer or cold storage).

 
Designing your storage space
To determine your specific storage and warehouse requirements it’s important to conduct a comprehensive analysis of the space using data, logic and observation. This will help to determine the number of pallet spaces needed, the specific locations of your products and how much area is required for staging.

“Warehouse operations is a vital part of your business and an ineffective space can cause congestion with goods receiving and order picking.”

Once your storage system has been developed around your business requirements, the optimisation process doesn’t stop there. Further refining your space with appropriate safety line markings, racking labels and compatible materials handling equipment is essential. Reviewing warehouse processes or implementing an improved warehouse management system can also have a big impact on stock management and order fulfilment.

  1. Warehouse scalability: Is your business ready for growth?

Businesses are growing and developing constantly, and remaining agile is key to maintaining a high level of success. Outgrowing your existing facility too quickly can cause costly setbacks, and underutilising your space could mean wasted opportunities.
Planning for scalability ensures your materials handling and storage solutions continue to be effective and efficient now, and well into the future.

What does it mean to have a scalable warehouse?
Businesses aren’t something that you can set and forget. And neither is your warehouse. Scalability allows for your storage space to adapt over time. This means your racking system can easily grow or change with your business to accommodate your storage and materials handling needs.
Whether it be the need to quickly add pallet spaces, re-arrange the storage flow, or streamline the racking configuration, building flexibility into your storage system will allow you to remain in your existing warehouse for many years to come.
Why is scalability important?
Warehouse operations is a vital part of your business and an ineffective space can cause congestion with goods receiving and order picking. The ability to adjust the size of your warehouse infrastructure allows you to keep up with the growth or streamlining of your product flow. As the market or your business strategy changes, you can re-optimise your storage system to suit.
How to increase the scalability of your business
Building scalability into your warehouse takes forethought. It pays to engage your storage systems supplier as early as possible to assist with planning and analysis. An experienced industrial storage provider can even help with your warehouse selection.
With the right team of industrial storage experts, your storage system will be designed around your business needs rather than having to adapt your business to fit your storage space.
For more information email info@dexionsolutions.com.au.
 
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New door factory to be launched in Melbourne

Arbon Equipment is preparing to open a high-speed door manufacturing facility at Laverton North in Melbourne’s west in January 2019. Arbon is the Australian service and distribution arm of Rite-Hite, a global manufacturer of loading dock and industrial facility equipment.
The 1,200-square-metre facility is staffed by a local workforce and is officially endorsed as a ‘Made in Australia’ manufacturer. Local Australian production will decrease lead times on doors from three months to a matter of days with 100% spare parts availability. Product lines include the Rite-Hite FasTrax doors series, including the FR (freezer), Standard, and LD (large driver) models. Doors will be offered in blue and carbon.
Adjacent to the manufacturing space, the recently-opened 450-square-metre Arbon Equipment showroom at Laverton North features a variety of industrial equipment, including doors, loading dock levellers, and vehicle restraints. The full-size equipment displays give customers a chance to take part in comprehensive product demonstrations.
“We look forward to starting production on a variety of Rite-Hite industry-leading doors,” said Arbon Australia general manager Lee Lorenc. “As an addition to the modern showroom space, we’re confident that the ‘Made in Australia’ door manufacturing will allow us to be an even better partner to local companies.”
 
 

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/.

Auckland Racking joins the Schaefer stable

Schaefer Systems Australia and Auckland Racking & Shelving Solutions have signed a distributor agreement, giving Auckland Racking the rights to distribute and install SSI SCHAEFER’S range of products in New Zealand.
Auckland Racking has been a leading designer and installer of warehouse shelving and racking systems in the New Zealand market for over 35 years. The founding partners have both had significant experience within the industrial storage industry, so it was a natural fit for them to work together to develop Auckland Racking & Shelving Solutions.
Specialising in the used pallet racking market initially, Auckland Racking has developed a reputation for providing quality total-solution projects from conceptual drawings, design, supply and ultimately safe and efficient installation or relocation. Since its foundation in 2004, Auckland Racking has become the go-to partner for project management and installation of storage equipment for many iconic brands located in New Zealand.
With over 25 staff and 5 teams of full-time installers who are supported by locally-based SSI-certified designers, Auckland Racking is well placed to cover the whole of New Zealand.
General manager of Schaefer Systems International Pty Ltd Brett Thirup said: “This partnership with Matt Cowan and the Auckland Racking team will greatly supplement the service levels and products available to New Zealand through Auckland Racking. We are excited for the prospects”.
General manager of Auckland Racking and Shelving Solutions Matt Cowan said: “This agreement gives Auckland Racking a unique opportunity to provide total end-to-end service to the marketplace. We can now manage new racking projects from design through to final compliance and sign-off. Partnering with SSI SCHAEFER is a natural fit with our existing business model and we are excited by the opportunity to work with a brand that is at the top of its class for quality, engineering and innovation. We look forward to a long and prosperous partnership with SSI SCHAEFER in Australia.”
 

Distributor of the Year Award winner named

Absolute Storage Systems has won SSI SCHAEFER’s 2017 Distributor of the Year Award.
Members of the senior management team presented the award to Scott Giles, Absolute Storage Systems CEO at the annual Distributor meeting held in Sydney.
Taking out the award in 2017 means that Absolute Storage have won this award a total of seven times. The annual award recognises the distributor’s excellent sales performance, its promotion of SSI SCHAEFER products and its willingness to work in partnership.
“Working collaboratively has allowed us all to do well this year and to serve our customers better,” said Brett Thirup, general manager, Integrated Standard Solutions & Combi Logistics Systems for SSI SCHAEFER. “All staff at Absolute Storage need to be congratulated.”
Scott Giles, CEO of Absolute Storage Systems said: “It’s another pleasing win for 2017 and our 7th win overall which really demonstrates our on-going efforts to not only be the #1 distributor for SSI SCHAEFER but a leader across the market. Every staff member at Absolute understands that our client’s growth is our growth and they work hard to support the clients and deliver on the promises and expectations. Winning this award again validates their efforts, which is great.”

Safer Storage signs up with Dexion

Safer Storage Systems is one of the first to sign the new-look Dexion Supply Centre agreement, which is currently being rolled out across Australia.
Dexion was recently acquired by Singaporean storage engineering company, Tech-Link Group, and has since undergone a complete restructure. Now, with a more streamlined business model, Dexion is focused on further developing its manufacturing and engineering capabilities, as well as strengthening the overall quality of their products.
The partnership between Safer Storage Systems and Dexion is expected to enhance Safer Storage Systems’ capacity to deliver both small and large-scale projects.
As an authorised Dexion Supply Centre, Safer Storage Systems is now an accredited supplier of Dexion products and services in the Australian market. In addition, Safer Storage Systems has adopted the Dexion branding and will now be known in the market as Dexion Solutions.
Safer Storage Systems’ managing director Matt Bell said: “This new partnership sees two powerhouses in the industry join forces to deliver the very best product and service for customers. Dexion has world-class engineering capabilities and we are excited to be able to add the quality product range to our selection.”
With a growing key accounts team to manage ongoing requirements for customers such as Reece and Bunnings, as well as experienced installation crews and project managers, Safer Storage Systems will offer a comprehensive storage product range for the industrial and commercial sectors.
Dexion Australiasia’s CEO Khurshed Mirza said: “Dexion has been the pinnacle of quality engineering and innovation in this industry for over 80 years, and our partnership with Dexion Solutions further enhances our commitment to provide our customers with service and support. We are stronger together.”

Handheld announces new ‘rugged’ Algiz 8X tablet

The Handheld Group, manufacturer of tough mobile computers, handhelds and tablets, has announced a new product to join its range – the Algiz 8X tablet.
The Algiz 8X offers communication features such as LTE and dual-band WLAN, along with an eight-inch ultra-bright chemically strengthened projective capacitive touchscreen built for outdoor use. With glove mode or rain mode enable, the tablet can operate in changing weather.
Handheld reports that the ‘compact’ and ‘rugged’ Algiz 8X has been put through exhaustive testing, including an impact test in which a 64-gram steel ball was dropped on the screen 10 times from a height of 1.2 metres.
“We’ve pushed the limits of modern field technology with this product, fulfilling customers’ needs for powerful computing, mobility, outstanding screen performance and battery life. We made no compromises,” said Johan Hed, Director of Product Management at Handheld.
The Algiz 8X comes standard with Windows 10 Enterprise LTSB, and an optional active capacitive stylus. LAN port, COM port and barcode scanner options are available and custom features and electronics can be added using a ‘backpack’ system.
The Algiz 8X is available from March.

TMHA launches versatile BT Reflex O-Series reach truck

Toyota Material Handling Australia (TMHA) introduces a versatile new range of reach trucks designed to operate on outdoor surfaces.

TMHA’s BT & Raymond national sales and product manager, Dean Watson explains that the new BT Reflex O-Series RRE160R adds a new dimension to reach truck capability by combining the space-saving benefits of a narrow-aisle reach truck with the indoor/outdoor flexibility of a rubber-tyred counter-balance forklift.

TMHA’s BT Reflex O-Series reach trucks have a ground clearance of 145mm and super-elastic tyres. The increased ground clearance allows the reach truck to operate on rugged, loose surfaces while the specialist tyres provide secure grip on wet or high-temperature asphalt.

Designed to deliver maximum flexibility, increased productivity and reduced costs, the RRE160R reach truck is ideal for hardware and garden stores, construction companies, dairy and farm producers, and warehouse operators. 

Mr Watson says the BT RRE160R model continues to offer top-level handling performance when working as a traditional reach truck in racking systems.

Based on the class-leading BT Reflex R-Series model, with the wheel and gearbox configuration adapted to allow for effective work on outdoor surfaces, the BT Reflex O-Series has a payload capacity of 1600kg and lift heights up to 7500mm.

Special features include BT’s unique Transitional Lift Control (TLC) system for fast, secure working at height, an advanced driver cab with the BT ‘total view’ concept, powerful AC electric motors and 360-degree steering.

Toyota Material Handling Australia offers a one-stop shop solution for materials handling needs, stocking a comprehensive range of Toyota, BT and Raymond forklifts and warehouse equipment.

TMHA operates a national network of 15 company-owned service centres and more than 270 mobile service vans.

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