Subscribe to our free, weekly email newsletter!


Rubbermaid Products’ Commercial retrofitted AS/RS

By updating an aging manual storage system with automated cranes, Rubbermaid Commercial Products reduced costs and improved safety.
December 15, 2010

Reduce, reuse and recycle. Those are the three R’s of the sustainability movement.

Going green may not have been one of the reasons Rubbermaid Commercial Products chose to retrofit a manually operated, high-bay warehouse with automated storage and retrieval cranes (Dematic, formerly HK Systems) last year at its 750,000-square-foot manufacturing plant and distribution center in Winchester, Va., but the three R’s are certainly in play.

The company was able to reuse and recycle the existing rack infrastructure in a 20-year-old, high-density storage area containing 56,500 pallet positions in 200,000 square feet. Meanwhile, by replacing 10 aging manually driven stracker cranes with 28 automated cranes, Rubbermaid reduced the amount of labor associated with operating that section of its operations. As a side benefit, automating the storage area has also created a much safer work environment and provided room to grow in the future.

Launched in November 2008, the project unfolded in four distinct steps over an 11-month period

  • choosing a solution and vendor,

  • designing the system and processes,

  • preparing for the installation, and

  • finalizing the installation.

Subscribe to Modern Materials Handling magazine

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Find out what the world’s most innovative companies are doing to improve productivity in their plants and distribution centers.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Recent Entries

New facility to house more than 300 engineers, project managers, sales, customer service and administrative staff.

Material handling parts distributor acquires Mid-Atlantic industrial safety distributor.

Biennial event to showcase innovations and crossover technologies that serve the food and beverage markets.

Acquisition to enhance capabilities in transportation, cold storage and light manufacturing.

Company began in 1946 as a hand truck and parts business in a one-room office.

About the Author

Bob Trebilcock, editorial director, has covered materials handling, technology, logistics and supply chain topics for nearly 30 years. In addition to Supply Chain Management Review, he is also Executive Editor of Modern Materials Handling. A graduate of Bowling Green State University, Trebilcock lives in Keene, NH. He can be reached at 603-357-0484.