In an ingenious materials flow strategy, the internal logistics of Kuraray's new raw materials warehouse combines, for the first time, semi-automatic shuttle vehicles with automatic FM-X reach trucks in a densely stocked tunnel warehouse. Occupying 4,500 square metres, the building occupies a site the size of a football pitch."On the market for unmanned handling systems and overall solutions, we presented our project to many well-known suppliers. In the end, only three were left over who even considered themselves capable of realising it. Finally, only Still was able to manage the demanded overall project as the general contractor in the extremely tight time frame of just nine weeks," says Manfred Kania, Head of Logistics at Kuraray Europe GmbH.
Each day, about 300 pallets of PVB plastic granulate are supplied in big bags by road truck and unloaded with RX 60 electric forklifts. At outgoing goods, three automated FM-X reach trucks are in constant around-the-clock operation.
The entire system supplies production with raw materials 24 hours per day. Twelve pallets are removed per hour in a steady flow. Since the warehouse handling equipment is consequently in operation around the clock, the battery voltage of all trucks is continuously monitored. Once it reaches a certain critical value, the reach truck or shuttle truck runs automatically to the battery charging station.
The system's nerve centre is the warehouse control computer, which communicates with the vehicle master computer, the Still pallet shuttles, the materials flow computer and the quality management system.
From the jury's verdict: The key to our decision was the innovative combination of unmanned handling systems with a pallet shuttle system and of automatic with manually operated equipment. In a record time of nine weeks, Still has managed to set up for Kuraray a fully functional, failsafe, 24/7 solution with the latest technology that sets standards with its payback period of three years. An extremely intelligent intralogistics solution with significant customer benefit.
With its Kuraray project, Still has set a benchmark for the warehouse design of the future, the jury adds.
Each year, the IFOY Award commends the best industrial truck and intralogistics solutions. The patron of IFOY, an independent non-profit organisation, is Germany's Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy.
You will find videos regarding the IFOY-Award and the Mowital warehouse here: