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Export success of storage systems manufacturer

Supplier: Dematic
16 March, 2011

Despite the strong Australian dollar making life tougher for exporters, Dematic continues to win multiple orders for projects in Asia, Europe and the USA.

In this case, several orders have been received to design and manufacture specialist storage systems.

The export success, which includes supplying structural design services and manufactured components to projects in Europe and the USA, is being driven by the company’s internationally renowned engineering design team led by Dr Murray Clarke.

"While Dematic is one of the largest logistics systems suppliers in the world, few of our global associates have the extensive experience in storage system design that we do in Australia," explained Dr Clarke.

"Through our Colby Storage Solutions business, we have been designing and manufacturing world class storage equipment for nearly 45 years, and it is rewarding that we are looked upon as a global centre of excellence for storage system design within Dematic," he said.

Dr Clarke’s Australian design team were recently called on to design and engineer the storage racks for one of the largest Dematic Multishuttle automated storage and retrieval systems (ASRS) built to date in Europe.

Dematic Multishuttle is the buffering and sequencing engine for new integrated Goods-to-Person order fulfilment systems, which automatically deliver goods for orders to ergonomically-designed picking stations, where multiple orders can be processed concurrently by a single operator, optimising productivity and reducing distribution costs.

Instead of the cranes normally used in ASRS, throughput can be dramatically increased using Multishuttle carts, capable of retrieving and putting away thousands of goods every hour.

"Our first involvement in designing Multishuttle storage racks was for industrial hardware supplier SFS unimarket in Switzerland," he said.

"Working to the relevant European standards and codes of practice, we carried out structural design calculations using our locally-developed RACKMAN software to create the most structurally efficient design for the 70,000 location storage system," said Dr Clarke.

"In addition to engineering the system, we also supplied a complete set of fabrication and installation drawings," he said.

"Our next design project was for another Swiss company, Suttero, and this installation required some new components to be developed," added Dr Clarke.

"The project was on a very tight timescale, and given that the new components required the development of specialist tooling, we thought this may give us the opportunity to look at also manufacturing and supplying equipment in addition to providing our design services," he said.

"We worked in close cooperation with our European colleagues to ensure that our offering met all customer requirements and also with BlueScope Steel in terms of steel price and lead time and these things combined helped us win the business

"The order was for 22,000 shelving ledgers and it was an excellent project for us to demonstrate that, despite being on the other side of the world, we could compete in terms of price, quality and delivery," he said.

The next Multishuttle design project for a major North American food producer, resulted in Dematic Australia successfully tendering for a much bigger order.

"This time around we bid to supply racking frames and shelving ledgers for the system, resulting in an order that comprised more than 110 tonne of product manufactured and shipped within three weeks of receiving the order," said Dr Clarke.

"It is pleasing to know that our manufacturing facility is world class and very competitive allowing us to compete internationally despite our dollar being at record highs.

"We continue to invest in R&D and new manufacturing technology to add value to the global Dematic group through our specialist storage system design skills and further increase our export sales," he said.

More information: www.dematic.com