Jessica Davies writes: Just before Christmas Savoye gave a sneak preview of two new, advanced automated storage systems – the Magmatic Modulo and the Picking Tray System – at its plant in Genlis, Dijon in France.
The Magmatic Modulo is a variation of the company’s original Magmatic – designed in 1994 – aimed specifically at small and medium companies. Matthew Atherton, business development manager at Savoye Logistics points out that, since 1994, 35 Magmatic systems have been installed across Europe ranging in size from 1400-112,000 pallets.
The Magmatic Modulo is a compact, modular system, which uses a stacker crane instead of the traditional levmatic elevators, racking x ways, radio guidance, batteries and battery loaders, used for previous versions.
Using one crane, the Magmatic can achieve a throughput of 30 combined cycles per hour. With two cranes attached the count would double to 60 combined cycles per hour. It takes up less space than a manual system, and can handle a maximum pallet weight of 1200 kg, with a filling rate of 98 per cent. It’s a flexible alternative to fork lift and narrow aisle trucks, with the added bonus of reduced labour costs.
The Magmatic can be adapted to the various shapes of a building, which is particularly convenient for existing premises. It serves different levels and sides of a building, with few conveyors. Vehicles can leave the store to a working or picking station, or through a tunnel between buildings.
The vehicles are small and relatively lightweight, using little energy. Savoye says a logistics requirement changes every three to five years, but a warehouse exists for 20 years, and needs to be flexible for different demands. The modular system would help double the number of pallets per metre squared in a manual system, and cut operator costs.
President Jean-Michel Guarneri says there’s a much more dynamic mix of products now than ten years ago, when the company dealt mainly with pharmaceutical products. Products used to be held in store for six months before being moved. Now it’s only six weeks.
Savoye’s new Picking Tray System (PTS) offers a productivity rate of up to 800 lines/man/hour, with an estimated payback of 2.5 to 3.5 years versus semi-automated systems. Generally pickers travel around seven to eight km per day. The PTS has been designed to reduce this to zero.
The PTS shuttles are powered by supercapacitors, which use up less energy than batteries or cables, and don’t emit fumes. Each PTS carries small amounts of energy (all it needs for one return load), and automatically recharges in seconds. During the down-time of a shuttle, the others in place keep working, ensuring the process is continuous.
A PTS aisle is generally served by one to three shuttles. It’s twice as compact as a conventional picking area and can fit in with existing picking systems, either as a replacement for shelving or pallet locations.
Products are stored in cases or totes on RFID trays. The PTS then forwards the products in the right sequence of the incoming orders. It minimises the number of pickers required, reducing labour costs.