Leading manufacturer of automotive parts sees substantial improvements with installation of automated warehouse
Piolax Corporation, a U.S. subsidiary of Piolax Inc., which produces and sells automotive parts such as precision springs, plastic and metal fasteners, and fuel system components, has established a new logistics base for automotive parts in its main plant in GA.
Piolax introduced an automated pallet warehouse and the high-speed rail-guided vehicle system “STV” to deal with the increased goods volume due to the growing demand.
Piolax used to conduct its logistics operations at an external warehouse adjacent to the main plant. Finished auto parts were stored on pallet racking with a capacity of about 3,100 pallets, and forklifts were used to move them in and out of the warehouse. Due to a significant increase in the volume of goods over the past five years, the storage capacity and processing capacity for warehousing, shipping, and picking were insufficient, resulting in an increased workload.
In order to reduce warehouse rent, improve the operation efficiency, and increase the safety level, Piolax built a 92,000m2 logistics center on the plant site in October 2016.
Storage capacity increased by 80% and the number of forklifts significantly reduced
The automated warehouse has five stacker cranes with a storage capacity of 5,632 pallets. The storage capacity has been improved by approximately 80% compared to the previous system to accommodate future increases in the volume of goods. In addition, by operating seven STVs in a loop system and transporting them at high speed between the automated warehouse and the receiving, shipping, and picking stations, the processing capacity has been increased and the waiting time of workers has been reduced.
As a result, the time required for logistics operations has been drastically reduced. The external warehouse is no longer needed, and only two forklifts are needed instead of the six to eight that were previously required. In addition, inventory management and First-In First-Out operations have been thoroughly carried out, enabling prompt and accurate delivery of goods according to the drawback.
The introduction of the new system has not only achieved our goals of cost reduction and safety assurance, but has also improved the work environment and reduced overtime hours. We will consider installing automated warehouses at our other locations in the future.
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