Welcome to the 15th September Warehouse & Logistics News, stockpiled with stories to help warehouses get on the good foot for the months ahead. As well as this edition, which coincides with IMHX, we’ve also produced our IMHX 2019 Exhibitor Focus and our IMHX 2019 Show Guide specially for the show. Don’t miss them!
In our Storage Solutions feature people worry Britain is running out of warehouse space, but our suppliers are happy to help. The UK’s largest manufacturer of steel storage products, Whittan Group is acting out its credo of getting it right first time, says CEO Jon Templeman, by investing in a new bespoke design and specification software, Design 360, to translate customer requirements into workable designs.
Speaking of right first time, battery charging can be the bane of warehouse managers’ lives, but the ability to take greater control over the charge regime for each truck has a direct effect on batteries’ operational efficiency and length of service. In our Power Sources feature, ECOBAT’s launch of their charger app in May marked a step forward in the charging process, but their new WiFi chargers take things to a new level. With the two in combination, operators can verify why batteries are underperforming, and whether they’re not being charged properly or they’re worn out.
In Order Picking, this key part of the warehouse is evolving rapidly from its paper-based origins. Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs) top many businesses’ wish lists, helping them work smarter by minimising repetitive and unproductive order picking tasks. Meanwhile the explosion in internet shopping is putting fresh pressures on warehouse operations, with next day delivery now standard and same day increasingly popular. By introducing automation, costs can be cut significantly, service levels increased and operations’ footprints reduced. Famous for their very large projects, KNAPP are making smart order picking available to everyone with their recently launched Pick-it-Easy Evo workstation, minimising the strain from stretching, stooping and lifting.
Staying with order picking, on our cover Swisslog is celebrating a major milestone, as Vectura, its automated stacker crane for pallet warehouses, turns 50. Vectura is still a top seller in Swisslog’s portfolio, with 575 logistics projects completed across 35 countries and a total of 3,870 stacker cranes installed so far. One of the first systems is still in operation and the customer list includes Unilever, PepsiCo, Procter & Gamble, Walmart and the makers of Absolut vodka. Nazdrovya Vectura, as they say in Russia.
In our July 1st issue we ran the story about RAR Automation launching Danish warehouse automation provider EffiMat’s ground-breaking Intelligent Box Mover technology here. The interest generated has kept Jim Abraham, Sales Engineer for Storage Solutions and the team very busy, as he says in our interview.
And finally, IMHX is the perfect place for a relaxed chat and catch up. If you’re going to be at the NEC for the show and you have a moment or two, come and see us on stand 6F185. Looking forward to meeting you.