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Shimano extends use of Savoye’s PTS shuttle system

Savoye, the global warehouse automation specialist, is undertaking a project to expand the use of its PTS shuttle system at Shimano Europe in Nunspeet, Netherlands. The extension contract also includes the implementation of a new conveyor system combined with Savoye’s Jivaro packaging machines.

The current Picking Tray System (PTS) from Savoye, was originally installed in 2009 and operates on a five aisle structure. The extension project will add two more aisles to the existing system. Each aisle is served with one lift at the front to enable four shuttles to switch level. The 38 metre long storage racks are divided into 15 sections vertically and 20 levels horizontally; storing 15,000 trays with crates of two sizes. These can be further divided with separators.

The upgrade provides Shimano – which is well known for its cycling components, fishing tackle and other sports equipment – with an additional 5,760 PTS trays. So far output of the system has been impressive. The PTS currently serves one replenishment station and two picking stations with an achievable output of more than 350 orderlines per picking station per hour. The additional capacity will enable Shimano to satisfy anticipated growth in the years to come. Reasons for this growth are additions to the product range and an anticipated sales increase.

The project also includes the delivery of a conveyor system, which is set up for zone picking and links the PTS shuttle area with the large range of items stored in the shelving area. The addition of two tray erectors and two packaging machines (Savoye’s Jivaro packaging systems) is expected to increase the speed of packing goods for shipment considerably. A sorter at the end of the line will be extended with three extra lanes.

Jivaro’s ability to cut boxes automatically to suit the volume of the goods will reduce waste, but also improve Shimano’s ability to load trailers in the most effective way and even save on transport costs. Goods will arrive to the customer in an even more orderly way and that is expected to increase customer satisfaction.

Finally, thanks to the Jivaro packaging machines, Shimano expects to reduce the amount of standard boxes from six down to just three, which will simplify the whole process.

As part of Shimano’s system review, other order picking solutions were examined, but the good performance of the Picking Tray System and lack of credible alternative solutions encouraged the project team to continue with the French warehouse automation specialist.

Work on the mechanical layout and functional analysis (including WMS/WCS upgrades) are already underway. The installation of the project is expected to take place in the autumn of 2012. Operation will start roughly a month after completion of the installation.

One of the members of the project team Ed Guichelaar, logistics manager at Shimano, says: "The positive experience with the current system has really been the main reason for asking Savoye to not only to expand the PTS, but also to deliver the conveyor lines and the packaging machines. Their integration capabilities will not only help us to further improve our warehouse performance but also solve several challenges we have in the packaging area."

Hans van den Berg, sales manager Savoye for the Netherlands, adds: "With this addition, we will have an impressive reference site, which demonstrates our integration expertise. We are proud to be able to help Shimano in taking their logistic operation to the next level."

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