Swisslog Americas forms automotive group

swisslog warehouse and distribution

Swisslog Warehouse and Distribution Solutions Americas has formed an automotive group and appointed Terry Krantz as vice president of sales and consulting.

Swisslog Warehouse and Distributions Solutions Americas, a Member of the Kuka Group and leading provider of best-in-class intralogistics solutions, announces the formation of a new automotive business unit focused on developing and delivering intralogistics automation to tier one suppliers and original equipment manufacturers.

Markus Schmidt, president of Swisslog WDS Americas, says: “Tier one suppliers and OEMs have already been turning to Swisslog and benefiting from our turnkey solutions designed to streamline their work-in-process manufacturing, kitting, and parts storage.  Continue reading Swisslog Americas forms automotive group

KernPack signs exclusive distribution deal with robotics experts Skilled Group

kernpack industrial robot small

Signs exclusive distribution deal with robotics and laser guided vehicle specialist Skilled Group

KernPack, a distributor of specialist packaging machinery and solutions, has signed an exclusive UK and Ireland distribution deal with Skilled Group, enabling it to sell the company’s complete range of robotic palletising systems and automatic guided vehicles.

Part of KernPack’s strategy to widen its capabilities, by adding end-of-line warehouse automation to its packaging and mailing solutions, the deal also takes the company into the warehouse and logistics market.

Designed for automated warehousing and truck loading, Skilled Group’s products are already used around the world by Bridgestone, Coca-Cola, Nestlè, Kraft, Unilever and Johnson & Johnson in installations costing up to €10m.

The company’s wide range of robotic equipment includes articulated robotic arms, gantry and SCARA robots for the automatic palletising of products or pallet handling and automatic guided vehicles, or AGVs, for any situation where a traditional forklift truck is used.  Continue reading KernPack signs exclusive distribution deal with robotics experts Skilled Group

Electric power: Clean energy infrastructure driving switch from AC to DC

nikola tesla
Nikoa Tesla, pictured in his Colorado Springs lab in 1899. Picture courtesy of Smithsonian.com

Nikola Tesla was a famous scientist who developed alternating current, the means of distribution for electricity for the vast majority of devices, appliances and machines in households and factories and just about every other electrified thing in the world today. 

But even as Tesla was inventing much of the technology used in the alternating current electricity supply system, another famous inventor, Thomas Edison argued that direct current was the best way to distribute electricity.

By the time Tesla tech came onstream, DC had already been in use for a decade, but within a relatively small area, and Edison lost that argument mostly because the components of an alternating current grid enabled electricity to be carried far and wide beyond the power generating facility.  Continue reading Electric power: Clean energy infrastructure driving switch from AC to DC

Yusen Logistics awards Swisslog automated warehouse contract in Singapore

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Swisslog’s automated warehouse technology

Yusen Logistics, a provider of contract logistics and air and ocean freight forwarding, has selected Swisslog warehouse and distribution Solutions to deliver the “innovative AutoStore Automated System” in Singapore.

The autonomous robots, which sit on the top of an aluminium grid as part of the innovative storage system, is expected to go into operation in 2017.

This light goods automatic storage and retrieval system (AutoStore) investment is a result of Yusen Logistics’ insight into the philosophy of the shared economy and the need to manage rising business costs in the current global, lower-growth economy. Continue reading Yusen Logistics awards Swisslog automated warehouse contract in Singapore

Swisslog signs ‘major contract’ with tire manufacturer Michelin

michelin tires

Michelin, the tire manufacturer, has selected Swisslog warehouse and distribution solutions to automate a new distribution center in the US.

The order value of the automation project amounts to a high multimillion-dollar range and was booked in the second quarter of 2016.

The new distribution center will supply passenger and truck tires throughout North America, allowing the company to meet its ambitions for responsible logistics.  Continue reading Swisslog signs ‘major contract’ with tire manufacturer Michelin

Giant distribution centers look to robots to deal with increasing e-commerce orders

axium Distribution-center-robotic-depalletizing

Changes taking place in consumer behavior have drawn a new map, a new type of building and a new kind of automation for the retail sector.

Growth has taken place in both the number and size of the facilities that turn e-commerce orders into product deliveries. The distribution center, or operation fulfillment center, is increasingly emerging in locations that experience low real estate costs, offer tax incentives to locate there, have an available workforce for seasonal surges and offer multiple ways of transporting goods from their locations.

In the US, that means areas close to major metropolises, such as New Jersey and Oakland, CA, Midwestern hubs that are unencumbered by traffic-congested highways, such as Omaha, NB and Kansas City, MO, and traditional port cities such as Houston, TX, Norfolk, VA, and Savannah, GA. Continue reading Giant distribution centers look to robots to deal with increasing e-commerce orders

Rapid growth of online orders welcomes robotics technology, says Axium

axium DP240-2

One click. Delivered right to your door. Guaranteed overnight delivery. The messages are alluring, says Axium Solutions

Convenience has spurred e-commerce’s growth, with more and more retailers stepping up big-time to promote their online wares.

E-commerce annual sales estimates range from $750 billion to $1.2 trillion for that huge digital partner and sometime nemesis of the bricks and mortar store.

Ever-shortening delivery times and an ever-widening range of choice have become goals on-line retailers all strive toward to attract shoppers.  Continue reading Rapid growth of online orders welcomes robotics technology, says Axium

The role of experts in distribution center robotics and automation

viastore

By Thomas R. Cutler

Distribution centers are facing ever shorter delivery times, requiring higher flexibility and efficient goods management; distribution centers are vital competitive factors for companies in trade and industry.

Perfect supply chain management is the basic requirement and there are few tested experts in the planning and implementation of customized warehousing systems for distribution and logistics.

From small warehouse facilities (under 50,000 square feet) to very large DCs (1M+ square feet), finding the right solutions for distribution centers or logistics centers must be turnkey, including warehouse technology, equipment, control system, software, and construction work.  Continue reading The role of experts in distribution center robotics and automation

Pepperl+Fuchs to construct a 110,000-square-foot facility in Houston with an expanded engineering center

pepperl+fuchs solutions engineering centre katy texas

The new engineering center will design, build and certify custom equipment on site in days

Pepperl+Fuchs, a provider of process automation and applications, is building a 110,000-square-foot facility in Katy, Texas, in the West Ten Business Park near Houston.

The new facility, which will replace an existing 20,000-square-foot space, will house an expanded Solutions Engineering Center, a customer training area, warehouse space and distribution facilities.

A quickly expanding service from Pepperl+Fuchs, the Solutions Engineering Center is staffed with a team of engineers, who design, build and certify customized solutions on site for process automation in hazardous locations, such as oil refineries, pharmaceutical facilities and other manufacturing facilities.  Continue reading Pepperl+Fuchs to construct a 110,000-square-foot facility in Houston with an expanded engineering center

Distribution requires a warehouse control system

hytrol wcs

By Thomas R. Cutler

Automated conveying systems in distribution and warehouse environments need to pivot. Dropping in a conveyor system without a warehouse control system (WCS) makes no sense.

Bill Maple, director of software solutions for conveyor company Hytrol, shared new approaches connecting business systems to warehouse automation.

Working closely with a network of integration partners this approach is obvious for new implementations.  That said with a strong economy, Maple noted that existing systems are being reconfigured to operate differently, or legacy systems are requiring technology or automation upgrades.  Continue reading Distribution requires a warehouse control system

The critical role of innovative automation for fast-growing online retailers

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Inside the Backcountry.com warehouse

By Thomas R. Cutler

Park City, Utah-based Backcountry.com is a great example of the powerful growth in the online e-tailing sector. Twenty years ago the company comprised of two men, a stack of avalanche beacons, and a garage in Park City; the company has grown to become one of the leading online specialty retailers in the United States, selling clothing and outdoor gear for hiking, camping, road biking, mountain hiking, rock and ice climbing, mountaineering, skiing, avalanche safety, snowboarding, fly fishing, kayaking, rafting, road and trail running, and more.

Jeff Carter, senior vice president of global fulfillment, at Backcountry.com, says: “Our mission is to connect people to their passions and enable them to get outdoors and enjoy the gear.”

When Carter started with the company in 2001, it shipped 265 packages on its busiest day. This past year, the company shipped about 60,000 on its busiest day. The journey has involved quite a transformation in material handling and distribution. The role of automation has made this all possible.  Continue reading The critical role of innovative automation for fast-growing online retailers

Radwell picks Swisslog to automate processes

radwell international

Radwell International, a supplier and repair center for industrial electrical and electronic control devices, selected Swisslog to automate its finished goods and picking processes at its new distribution center in Willingboro, NJ with the purchase of a Click&Pick solution powered by AutoStore.

Radwell stocks and sells new and surplus industrial automation for plant floor and facilities maintenance machinery. In addition, the company has extensive repair capabilities for electronic and electrico mechanical equipment products used in industrial manufacturing.

In 2003, the international company launched their website, which they say resulted in rapid growth. The new 312,000 square foot distribution center will be located in Willingboro, NJ and will allow Radwell to merge multiple facilities into one while also accommodating its growing needs.  Continue reading Radwell picks Swisslog to automate processes

DecisionPoint Systems automates warehouse operations of Modell’s sporting goods

modell's sporting goods
Image courtesy DeMartino Construction Company

Billion-dollar sporting goods retailer upgrades systems at distribution center with new automation technology 

DecisionPoint Systems, a provider and integrator of enterprise mobility, wireless applications and IoT solutions, has been selected by Modell’s Sporting Goods to lead its distribution technology refresh initiative.

Modell’s will be implementing the latest Zebra Technologies’ mobile handheld, mobile printer devices, and wireless infrastructure in their distribution center, and selected DecisionPoint to oversee both deployment and maintenance services of this critical initiative. Continue reading DecisionPoint Systems automates warehouse operations of Modell’s sporting goods