Logistex, a leading global supplier and integrator of automated materials handling systems, has completed a second contract for Wincanton plc to upgrade Automated Storage and Retrieval Systems (ASRS) in distribution centres operated by Wincanton on behalf of GlaxoSmithKline (GSK).
The first contract was to add two high bay storage aisles with narrow aisle cranes to the existing nine aisles installed by Logistex, as well as additional racking and conveyors, in Wincanton’s GSK Distribution Centre at Middlewich, Cheshire. The second contract was to upgrade the ASRS – originally installed by a different supplier – at Wincanton’s GSK Distribution Centre at Brockworth, near Gloucester.
In the Brockworth upgrade, Logistex has replaced legacy control technology, operator screens, motors and drive components with software and equipment based on next-generation technologies. They have made significant improvements in system functionality, including providing all 15 cranes with the flexibility to change aisles.
These enhancements form part of the development of the supply chain infrastructure to support the growth of GSK’s Consumer and Nutritional Healthcare business.
Gerry Bonnar, Wincanton’s Contract General Manager, commented: “The new system has not only enhanced the centre’s efficiency but is also providing a platform for continual improvement of the working environment for employees”.
The project has brought a number of operational and safety improvements to the warehouse. ASRS cranes can operate in either automatic or semi-automatic mode, adding further flexibility and ease of maintenance. The new control system allows cranes to automatically return to the home position when an error is detected, and has a timer and diagnostics system that provides faster, more responsive and safe maintenance and repair. An interlock key exchange and new light guard have increased safety and new AC motors will reduce energy costs and improve reliability.
Martin Sealy, Business Unit Director for Wincanton, commented further: “We have been impressed by the solution provided by Logistex – its flexibility and features will facilitate agility and growth”. Martin Cooke, GSK Distribution Operations Manager, added: “The solution they presented to upgrade the Brockworth site was sufficiently innovative and impressive for us to award them the contract.”
Jerry Woodhouse, Managing Director, Logistex, summed up: “Refining and developing materials handling efficiency is a continuous process. Logistex’s consultative and flexible approach to system upgrades allows customers to implement ongoing cost-down initiatives which enable them to maintain a sharp, competitive edge”.
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