Shimano opens Australia's First compact multishuttle GTP Distribution Centre

Shimano, a world-leading manufacturer and distributor of high quality cycling and fishing equipment and accessories, has opened Australia's first compact Multishuttle Goods-to-Person (GTP) distribution centre (DC) in Sydney.

The new DC has brought together Shimano's cycling and fishing business under the one roof. The DC is designed to enhance the quality of Shinmano's service offering to customers and help the business benefit from economies of scale and reduce distribution costs.

Matthew Bazzano, Managing Director of Shimano Australia Cycling, said: "When Shimano decided to review its Australian supply chain, it was clear that both businesses would benefit by combining their distribution requirements."

"Bringing together not only our distribution requirements, but also the administration, purchasing, finance, human resources and management functions for both businesses made it financially viable for Shimano to invest in a new state-of-the-art DC," added Colin Tannahill, Managing Director, Shimano Australia Fishing.

Dematic's space-efficient double deep, single inventory storage buffer houses a total of 5,168 totes over 16 levels, with each level serviced by its own Dematic Multishuttle.

The system typically supplies around 600 totes/hour to GTP workstations. When stock is retrieved from the Multishuttle system, it is delivered to the GTP workstations as required for order assembly ensuring very high throughput rates.

"The Multishuttle system gives us a lot of flexibility. Each of the three GTP workstations is dual purpose, which means we can some for picking and others for replenishment, depending on what we need at the time," said Shimano's Logistics Manager, Maea Sio.

"The system was scoped to achieve between 220-350 picks per hour/workstation, but we are often achieving significantly higher throughput rates than that, with some operators achieving more than 600 picks per hour."


How operations and maintenance planning can improve port productivity

Ports are being challenged on many fronts. Globalisation has led to an increase in shipping and a corresponding increase in demand for port services. At the same time, competition between ports is intense and the nature of the market is changing.

TEU capacity and throughput remain important but now there are added complications, with operators of mega ships seeking suitably mega facilities, while other shipping clients demand flexibility in facilities, to cope with a mix of containerised and non-containerised cargo.

All of these factors have placed port and terminal operations under the spotlight. Considerations such as the time it takes to load or unload a ship, the type of assets a port owns, and the availability and reliability of this equipment have become critical to a port's competitive positioning.

In a bid to outdo others, operators around the world are discovering that the key to cost-effective port efficiency lies in driving value and productivity out of port assets.

The nature of assets

Typically, the assets owned by ports are costly. From forklifts to cranes, the assets are expensive to purchase and to maintain. The other fact about them is they are absolutely essential for revenue. Containers can't berth or be unloaded without the right equipment. But at the same time, no port can afford to tie up money or excess assets.

To avoid these pitfalls, it is important that ports have an integrated view of their operations and maintenance. The aim is to strike  a balance between the need to load and unload ships swiftly and efficiently, yet still have the ability to schedule essential maintenance.

Alignment with strategic objectives

The best and most accurate way of achieving this is by aligning operations and maintanance with the organisation's strategic objectives.

Begin by calculating anticipated TEUs for the year and consider how this number may grow. Then break the figures down to asset management objectives such as the number of berths and cranes that will be required to meet the expected throughput. 

If you expect to have the equipment in operation for 70 per cent of the time, that leaves a potential 30 per cent when no ships are coming in and when maintenance can be carried out.

Hopefully, this 30 per cent fits with the actual amount of time you require to conduct maintenance. If you need more time, that's when the juggling act between priorities -asset availability, reliability and cost -comes into question. Exactly how these needs are balanced will depend upon the priorities of each individual port operator.

It's all about balance

When trying to maximise productivity and contain costs, there's one other particularly helpful best practice. 

Analyse your assets in two distinct ways -in isolation and as a portfolio. It's important to know the costs, utilisation and productivity of a particular berth, for example, but it's equally essential to know the status of all the organisation's berths.

Their condition, capability and TCO not only points to capacity. It can also indicate risks, such as reliability, availability or exposure to upcoming replacement costs.

This latter risk is of particular relevance to companies that respond to the current increase in demand by suddenly investing in a variety of new assets.

An influx of new equipment ultimately creates an imbalance in the age of the asset fleet, which means maintenance demands will increase in sync and many of the assets will need to be replaced at a similar time.

This points to a significant cost burden in the near future. Good life cycle planning and clarity about priorities, especially in regard to operations, maintenance and costs, are essential in these circumstances. 

This is where asset management can make a considerable contribution towards business and profitability by reducing costs and increasing the productivity of assets.

The emergence of frameworks including PAS55 and ISO55000 have helped shift the thinking of how to manage assets from that of determining what cost to meet a level of service, to one of understanding the implications of the perforamnce, cost and risk trade-offs at various investment levels.

In many ways, the best examples of asset management involve balance. The balance between new and old equipment required to avoid risk. Balance between productive utilisation and maintenance, so that output is maximised and downtime minimised.

Balance between cost-cutting and investment, so that financial imperatives are met while keeping the fleet, and ultimately the company, competitive. 

Queensland Train Derailment Costs Incitec Millions

Incitec Pivot Limited have advised that a train derailment occuring in December last year would have an adverse impact of $14 million.

While transporting a shipment of sulphuric acid for use at Incitec Pivot's Phosphate Hill fertiliser manufacturing facility, the train derailed near Julia Creek en route from Townsville.

Queensland Rail is now building access roads to enable commencement of construction of a rail deviation around the derailment site.

IPL expects full plant operations to resume during the third week of January 2016. Incitect Pivot's Phosphate Hill plant is still expected to produce 950,000 tonnes of fertiliser during IPL's 2016 financial year.

It is believed that fertiliser supply to Australian domestic customers will be affected, assuming a normal winter crop season. 

Incitec Pivot is a leading global company which manufactures, markets and distributes a range of industrial explosives, fertilisers, related products and services to customers around the world.

Brazil Chemical Facility to use Honeywell’s Process Controls for visual workplace

A large chemical facility in Brazil will be the first in the world to use Honeywell’s Experion Orion Console, designed to provide a visual workplace that allows for effective responses and less operator fatigue.

ICL will use the new console to increase production, improve efficiency and improve the effectiveness of the plant operators.

HPS Brazil business leader, Francisco Casulli said, “This project reflects ICL Brasil’s bold and pioneering vision for its business by better helping its operators perform their jobs, reducing costs and saving time on the overall project.”

Experion Orion Console features an improved ergonomic design, better displays, and stronger capabilities to meet the needs of increasingly mobile plant operators.

While ICL Brasil is the first major facility to install the Experion Orion Console, HPS has similar projects ongoing at chemical plants, refineries, mines and other production sites around the world.

The console features adjustable sitting and standing operating positions, alongside touchscreen displays that can help operators quickly and accurately respond to changing conditions.

Honeywell’s Universal I/O modules play a critical role in helping to start operations on time by allowing operators to quickly and remotely configure channels as digital and development of new products focused on efficient and productive use.

Crown Equipment focuses on training in new facility

Crown Commercial Training has made significant changes to its training program with a new opportunity offered to design a new corporate training environment.

The new training facility comprises various common material handling environments ranging from yard work to racking aisle work, right up to the challenges involved in working in extremely tight surroundings with very narrow aisle equipment.

According to Crown compliance and operations manager Hywel Williams, “We had our racking arm, Crown Warehouse Solutions, design and install two new stockpicking aisles so that operators undergoing narrow aisle stockpicker training would be working in real-life conditions.”

Crown is currently providing training to 5,000 operators annually, so it is important that their training modules are kept to a high standard. To achieve this, the company has spent the last three years upgrading and refining their training modules and materials.

Their training manuals are designed to be totally portable, so that operators who undergo courses in their own company premises are afforded the same quality training as those who undertake training in Crown’s Sydney facility.

Company warns of extra trucks as mine trial begins

MMG will start a full-scale trial at its zinc mine in Queensland, warning residents near Cloncurry to expect increased traffic in the area.

The Dugald River Project is still a few years away from its first shipment of zinc, lead and silver concentrate, but for the next three months the company will trial the logistics of trucking the ore to its processing plants near Lawn Hill.

MMG spokeswoman Jillian D'urso says motorists should expect extra traffic on the roads during the trial, ABC reported.

"We're expecting up to about 25 extra road trains per day around from the Quamby area and up through to the Lawn Hill-Gregory Road … site," she said.

"We're moving about 100,000 tonnes – it'll take about three months once we've got enough stockpiled, we expect the trial itself of the ore going through the plant that is just to take a couple of days.

"We just ask that people take additional care when travelling on sections on the Burke Development Road near Quamby right through to the threeways and then along Lawn Hill-Gregory Road.

"We just encourage people to take a little bit of extra care and to make sure to drive slowly and we appreciate everyone's patience and cooperation as we move the ore between sites."

MMG was given approval to begin mining at site in August 2012.


Raman Joshi to head Manitowoc Cranes in Asia Pacific

Manitowoc Cranes Australia announces the appointment of Raman Joshi to head their operations in the Greater Asia-Pacific region.

He takes over as executive vice president of GAP from Gilles Martin, who has left the company to pursue other interests. Joshi will report directly to Eric Etchart, president and general manager of Manitowoc Cranes. 

He will also continue as the vice president of Manitowoc Cranes India where he oversees the company's factory for Potain tower cranes in Pune, as well as its five sales offices and network of local dealers. Before moving to India, he was marketing director of Asia-Pacific, and prior to that he served as global product manager for Manitowoc crawler cranes. 

Eric Etchart said Joshi’s proven experience in the region and his knowledge of Manitowoc in Asia made him the perfect candidate for the position. 

He explains that Raman is already a popular leader in the Greater Asia-Pacific region and has been instrumental in developing the Potain factory in Pune as well as growing its market share in India. Having travelled extensively through the region in his previous roles, gained excellent knowledge of Manitowoc’s product lines, and maintained good relationships with the company’s dealers, Raman, according to Mr Etchart, has all the attributes to be a true success in his new role.

Joshi will continue to be based in India, but will also spend much of his time at Manitowoc’s regional headquarters in Singapore. He said he was looking forward to working with a broader customer base across the region.

Prior to joining Manitowoc, Joshi worked for Japanese bearing manufacturer NSK Ltd, and subsequently as sales and marketing manager for the company’s U.S. operations. He is fluent in Japanese and Hindi, and has an MBA from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor in the United States.

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