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Quinn Radiators takes fully automated storage & picking facility provided by Swisslog into operation

The largest manufacturer of domestic and designer radiators in the UK has created one of the most modern and efficient production and storage sites worldwide in Newport

Redditch and Newport, 19 June 2008 – Systems integrator Swisslog has delivered a highly automated storage and order picking facility for Quinn Radiators at Newport which combines innovative technologies to provide an efficient and cost effective manual and automated order picking operation linked to an automated storage facility for their radiators

Storage and picking of radiators has traditionally been a manual operation and is intensive in its requirement for traditional warehousing storage space. To increase efficiency and achieve large cost savings Quinn Radiators chose to automate their new facility in Newport. Swisslog was chosen as general contractor for logistics to provide the total solution, including a fully automated highbay integrated with an automated picking system.

Effective cooperation between Swisslog and the Quinn Radiators team resulted in the design for a facility where adaptation of traditional automated materials handling equipment together with the integration of the different parts has resulted in an innovative automated storage and picking operation.

The system is set up to deal with numerous sizes of pallets and radiators. The pallets leave production and are all transported on a 4 strand chain conveyor fitted with bridging wheels at junctions to ensure a smooth ride as the radiator stacks are not strapped down in production and the one-way despatch pallets do not feature runner-boards. They are then transferred onto a monorail system and delivered for storage within a 40m high double-deep highbay equipped with 6 automated stacker cranes with telescopic forks and fork spread adjustment to accommodate the different size pallets. Each rack has 5 top hats per double pallet bay permitting a high flexibility of pallet sizes and combinations to be accommodated within the warehouse.

Immediately adjacent to the high bay is the robot pick area where customer orders are automatically picked and assembled on despatch pallets. The pick area is automatically replenished from the highbay warehouse. Through product innovation a unique picking robot has been created, utilising a magnetic head which adapts to the size and weight of each radiator. Each of the 3 gantry robots pick to order pallets at a rate of 120 picks (or radiators) per hour.

The manual pick area, which uses Swisslog voice-picking technology integrated into the overall solution, is used to store and pick slow moving and oversize radiators. The completed customer order pallets are then transported via monorail to the despatch area for automated strapping and labelling before being consolidated on despatch lanes ready for loading onto trailers. The whole system is controlled and monitored by Swisslog's WarehouseManager WMS and AutomationManager WCS. In addition Quinn Radiators are using the Swisslog PalletBuild software module to automatically build the mixed SKU customer order pallets to achieve a stable load and minimise overall pallet usage and transport costs.

The system has already proven itself in terms of cost saving, response time to customer orders and stock accuracy. Says Ciarán Doherty, Operations Manager Quinn Radiators; “Quinn Radiators selected Swisslog for this project due to their ability to provide a fully integrated turnkey solution. The entire system was extremely complex due to the number of SKU's and the number of sizes of pallet bases that we use. The automated picking system was the one area that we were concerned about due to the no. of algorhythms required to generate efficient mixed pallet builds. The end product is now fully functional and works extremely well. We were very happy with the overall professional service provided by Swisslog from start up to completion. Thanks to Swisslog's on site management team, the project was delivered on time and within budget.”

About Swisslog
Swisslog is a global provider of integrated logistics solutions for warehouses, distribution centers, and hospitals. Its comprehensive services portfolio ranges from building complex warehouses and distribution centers to implementing Swisslog's own software. In addition Swisslog provides intra-company logistics solutions for hospitals as well as software and consulting services in the field of supply chain management.
Swisslog's solutions optimize customers' production, logistics and distribution processes in order to increase flexibility, responsiveness and quality of service while minimizing logistics costs. With years of experience in the development and implementation of integrated logistics solutions, Swisslog provides the expertise that customers in more than 50 countries around the world rely on.

Headquartered in Buchs/Aarau, Switzerland, Swisslog currently employs around 2,000 staff in 20 countries worldwide.

The group's parent company, Swisslog Holding AG, is listed on SWX Swiss Exchange (security number: 1232462,
Telekurs: SLOG, Reuters: SLOG.S). For more information, visit www.swisslog.com

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