In selecting the finalists the judges looked for evidence of bold and innovative responses to the changing market place – such as the introduction of new technology, products, processes or procedures that have had or will have a positive net effect on operations.

BITO-logoSWISSLOG (UK) LTD

Jointly developed by Swisslog and its parent company the KUKA Group, the Automated Item Pick (AIP) concept is based on the emerging need for humans and robots to interact and collaborate in intralogistics applications.

The human-robot workstations allow order bins at the pick station to be serviced by a human and a robot at the same time. Thanks to the clever design of its suction gripper, the robot is able to pick small, medium or even large objects up to 5 kgs in weight.

The good news is that the robots are intended to support people, not replace them and it is expected that, at sites where the system is deployed, employees will be given higher value tasks.

The innovative AIP robotassisted concept is designed to reduce costs per pick and support the human workforce, whilst ensuring an increase in delivery quality and customer satisfaction.

The system is seen as an important milestone on the journey into a cyber-physical future – one that combines traditional automation technologies with the technical achievements of the IT world.

THE WAREHOUSE AUDITOR

The Warehouse Auditor was released to the market in March 2016. A paperless system, it is a unique combination of service and software for measuring and managing continual warehouse or distribution centre improvement through photographic evidence-based auditing against a set of meaningful criteria.

The system features an audit scoring system, and provides a detailed audit report, recommendations and suggested corrective actions to ensure continual improvement.

The scoring system enables the user to improve on scores in specific areas of its operation and set a target score to aim for – thus ensuring continual improvement through auditing.

The Warehouse Auditor ‘experience’ starts with an independent audit of the client facility by an approved warehouse operations and systems specialist using the software. A detailed report with observations, photographic and written evidence, recommendations and corrective actions is available for the client in PDF format within 24 hours of the audit.

The client then has the option of a 14-day free trial of the software prior to committing to a monthly license. The initial audit fee includes the set-up and training for the free trial. The client can then self-audit their own operations using dropdown menus and system prompts, as part of their continual improvement process.

The software App is available to use on Android, iOS and Windows devices providing a truly paperless solution specifically developed to save time and resources and significantly increase efficiency.

LINDE MATERIAL HANDLING (UK) LTD

Market leading boiler manufacturer, Vaillant Group, has recently undergone a major upgrade of its UK production plant.

Phase One of the project involved installing two new production lines.

The lines are fed by a Logistics Train – a materials handling system developed by Linde.

The Logistics Train replaced conventional forklifts at Valliant’s site and its introduction has resulted in a safer working environment and better use of space.

The Logistics Train is not an off the shelf product, it’s a modular system specifically designed and built for every application.

Vaillant’s train consists of three sections: two bridge trailers, each of which can carry two loads equal to four pallet loads, are pulled by an electric tow tractor.

The loads at Vaillant range from lightweight packaging materials to heavy motors, which are loaded onto wheeled dollies then simply wheeled off from either side. When specifying the trailers, factors such as load heights of materials coming in from suppliers were taken into account to ensure a seamless flow when loading, eliminating the need for these loads to be broken down to fit onto the trailers.

By using the train system, deliveries to the Valliant production line that would require 100 forklift journeys can be completed with just 20 train trips.