Updated AS/RS offers fresh start for Dole

Proprietary system revamped from one end of aisle to the other.
By Josh Bond, Associate Editor
October 22, 2011 - MMH Editorial

The Dole Fresh Vegetables location in Marina, Calif., has a nine-aisle unit-load automated storage and retrieval system (AS/RS). Due to the age of the installation and original equipment, elements of the system were outdated, unreliable and causing downtime. Despite a largely proprietary system, the company was able to find a supplier that could update the
AS/RS—reducing costs and errors while increasing uptime and performance.

Before the upgrade, the company faced widespread problems. As the once advanced system aged, proprietary controls were becoming more difficult to maintain and caused severe limitations on future system capability. Maintenance groups were spending too much time and money troubleshooting equipment problems like maintaining the DC motors and obsolete DC drives. Potential upgrades were complicated, required operational interruptions, and only limited vendors had the ability to perform them.

New hardware and software including end-of-aisle units and wireless tablet PCs supplemented new motors, drives and laser positioning systems. The supplier offered current, off-the-shelf technology that is non-proprietary, proven and reliable, making future modifications and upgrade requirements easier and less costly to implement.

Maintenance costs were reduced, while improving Dole’s ability to maintain the AS/RS independently. The system reliability increased and uptime improved due to the elimination of positioning errors that were occurring in the old control system, the removal of the obsolete components, and the ability to monitor the system on-line in real time. Improved flexibility and positioning accuracy gave Dole the ability to fine-tune individual storage locations. In addition, the serviceable life of the equipment, components and overall system was extended.

Retrotech
866-915-2777
http://www.retrotech.com

More Storage coverage.

More from Modern’s 2012 Casebook



About the Author

image
Josh Bond
Associate Editor

Josh Bond is an associate editor to Modern. Josh was formerly Modern’s lift truck columnist and contributing editor, has a degree in Journalism from Keene State College and has studied business management at Franklin Pierce.


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

This complimentary white paper addresses areas of potential benefit to a grocery distributor considering an investment in automated case picking technology.

In 2015, a new era in shipment pricing will go into effect when major carriers implement dimensional ("dim") weight pricing for all ground packages regardless of their size. This complimentary white paper, "Dimensional Weight: Don't Let it Weigh You Down", can help you optimize your packaging operation to minimize the financial impacts of dimensional weight pricing.

Replacing older, less-efficient lift trucks at the right time can reduce your maintenance costs, improve your productivity and, most importantly, save money and maximize your return on investment. So how do you determine the right time to make a new, significant purchase? Download this complimentary white paper for guidance on how to determine the ideal time to replace lift trucks and how planned replacement can benefit your operation.

The prolonged operating hours of automated distribution operations leave limited time for maintenance. For tightly-scheduled fulfillment operations, unplanned downtime not only cuts into slim profit margins, it jeopardizes future business and customer loyalty. Download this complimentary white paper to learn five mission-critical benefits of implementing a resident maintenance program.

Debut of Pharma EXPO plays crucial role in increase.

Comments

Post a comment
Commenting is not available in this channel entry.


© Copyright 2013 Peerless Media LLC, a division of EH Publishing, Inc • 111 Speen Street, Ste 200, Framingham, MA 01701 USA