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.
About the Author
Bob Trebilcock, executive editor, has covered materials handling, technology and supply chain topics for Modern Materials Handling since 1984. More recently, Trebilcock became editorial director of Supply Chain Management Review. A graduate of Bowling Green State University, Trebilcock lives in Keene, NH. He can be reached at 603-357-0484.
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Supply chain visibility is the Holy Grail for warehouses and distribution centers where the fast and efficient movement of goods is the solution to satisfying customer demand.
This is especially true for the 68% of companies which are not satisfied with material movement efficiency from source to destination. These companies are seeking new ways to get the right goods to the right place at the right time. They are finding that change, complexity, compliance, competition, and connectivity are leading to further confusion.
Instead of ignoring a forklift fleet and its associated costs, asking the right questions can lead to substantial savings.
This white paper outlines five ways to increase profits with automation. By implementing automated storage and retrieval equipment-such as horizontal carousels, vertical carousels and vertical lift modules, multiple areas of a manufacturing or distribution facility will benefit from savings in inventory accessibility, floor space, time, improved ergonomics and better accuracy.
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First edition takes place in Nairobi, Kenya, Sept. 9-12, 2014.