Finnish material handling expert ACTIW has been producing cost effective and easy to operate fully automated warehouse systems for over two decades. The business recently underwent a major re-structure stepping up it’s global marketing campaign in a bid to bring its products, and the extra value they add in the warehouse, to the attention of the international beverage technology user community.
The company’s MD Reijo Viinonen took charge of operations in winter 2008 and immediately set about starting an awareness program aimed at international material handling operators. This was to highlight the fact that ACTIW is highly suitable for use in an existing space warehouse where a large number of pallet locations and a high throughput flow can be implemented thanks to its exceptional high density and dynamic storage technology.
Lessening the burden
"The ACTIW concept is ideally suited to the beverage industry and lessening the burden of warehouse operations managers," says Viinonen. "We have developed an alternative automated warehouse approach to the pre-conceived industry standard of ordinary ASRS and stacker crane based systems that are accepted by many as the norm.
"When a company is planning on an investment to automate their material handling operations they would choose Actiw Systems if they knew about it."
It is a solution that is exceptional when compared to other stacker crane based ASRS systems. Its key features are that it gives more pallet positions in restricted space and higher throughput flow, being especially applicable in existing facilities.
"A recent project for Russian dairy goods producer Petmol Unimilk in St. Petersburg, where we implemented ACTIW storage, is a fine example of what the fully automated and modular system can do to improve the storage and put away of goods."
Viinonen explains that a key feature of ACTIW solutions is that they are designed to help implement a fully automated process in the warehouse stage by stage. Users can make full use of automation right from production to standard loading bay cargo space and also gain the ability to handle high input/output capacities.
"We can help customers from the drinks distribution sector optimise their warehouses by making better use of space," adds Viinonen. "Many DCs are in built up industrial areas or distribution parks where a new ground-up build or expansion is not either physically or financially possible.
"The ACTIW network can be designed and engineered to make better use of an existing facility’s floor space, throughput, internal transportation and loading bay. It can be easily integrated and adapted to the majority of inhouse warehouse management solutions (WMS). Our ultimate goal is to provide a facility with a fully automated passage throughout the warehouse for the mass flow of products without forklifts in the cargo dock area."
Jari Vartiainen, Actiw’s sales director puts forward his viewpoint on helping his customers achieve better optimisation in the warehouse. "Instead of the modified cargo space offered by our competitors we can offer systems for loading unmodified, standard cargo space," explains Vartiainen. "We wish to solve loading issues by using our own approach."
Involved in numerous implementations of ACTIW systems throughout the world Vartiainen believes that the potential savings offered by operating a fully automated warehouse cannot be ignored by material handling operators. "This is a reality and we have a strong belief that many customers are willing and ready to adopt this concept.
A message of added value
"When it comes to implementing the solution customers need not worry about having to slow down production as we work around their needs. In the layout design and planning phases of a project delivery serious care is taken to ensure trouble-free, ongoing production. Project implementation in a phased sequence eliminates disruptions, minimises temporary arrangements and keeps the service level up."
Viinonen concludes by giving potential customers a message of added value. "We can even visualise a client’s new warehouse needs on our 3D interactive animation and simulation system and eradicate many potential dangers before we set foot in the customer’s plant. Bringing 3D CAD data to life as a simulation component supports an organisation and its trading partners on many levels and this is where our expertise starts the client’s path to a fully optimised material handling operation."