Industry 4.0 technologies to boost capacity and productivity with a storage capacity of more than 16,000 bins, 60 robots and 10 goods-toperson workstations.
Robot and data-driven intralogistics solutions provider Swisslog today announced that their first Japanese installation of its AutoStore storage and picking system has taken up operations. The automated system powers the Keihin warehouse of Sanritsu Corp., a leading Japanese logistics provider. With a storage capacity of more than 16,000 bins, 60 robots and 10 goods-to-person workstations, the system enables future growth by boosting capacity and productivity.
Operated by Swisslog’s warehouse management software platform SynQ, the system is leading the medical devices sector into a new era of Industry 4.0. It allows the collection of big data to be transformed into smart data, offering endless optimization opportunities for the future. “The combination of AutoStore with SynQ sets the base for a future-proof warehousing solution,” said Francis Meier, Vice President Logistics Automation at Swisslog. “We are proud to hand over our first installation in Japan to Sanritsu and Boston Scientific and at the same time strengthen a successful global partnership.”
Sanritsu stores nearly 210,000 product units for leading U.S. medical device manufacturer Boston Scientific at the warehouse in Yokohama. On peak days, the company handles more than 14,000 order lines to be delivered to Japanese hospitals and medical device distributors. With stock and orders on a steady path of growth, Sanritsu and Boston Scientific were facing the need for more storage space and increased productivity of put away and picking activities.
Considering Boston Scientific’s successful introduction of AutoStore at its warehouse in The Netherlands, the companies decided to implement the system in Japan. “The high competence and proven experience of the Swisslog team in the design phase has convinced us to continue Boston Scientific’s partnership with Swisslog here in Japan,” said Sanritsu CEO Yasuhide Miura.
After the design phase, Swisslog took over full responsibility for the engineering and installation of the AutoStore system and the integration with SynQ. Swisslog implemented the system within five months on the warehouse’s fourth floor without interrupting Sanritsu’s regular operations.
AutoStore features sufficient storage compartments to allow lot segregation. Through this, the system helps Boston Scientific reducing inventory obsolescence. SynQ, which is short for Synchronized Intelligence, is managing lots by expiry date and releases the oldest inventory first for picking, creating value by minimizing equipment obsolescence. In addition, SynQ’s trace and tracking functionality offers Boston Scientific all preconditions for validation while at the same time enabling Sanritsu to gain full overview of data.
As a member of the KUKA Group, Swisslog offers its Japanese customers the full advantage of a combined approach to local support and maintenance. The companies provide fast on-site support and first level reaction in Japanese language. As part of their support, Swisslog and KUKA also regularly provide advice to their customers on how to use the new automated solution to further realize business optimization potential.
For Boston Scientific, this aspect is crucial. “This next-generation technology will significantly enhance our supply chain capability in Japan,” said Yusuke Naiki, President of Boston Scientific Japan. “It will improve our distribution agility and enable quicker response to customers. I am really proud that Boston Scientific is taking the lead in modernizing the medical device supply chain and have no doubt that our collaboration with Swisslog and KUKA will be successful and ultimately lead to better patient care.”