Webasto chooses Span Track

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Automotive component manufacturer Webasto Roof Systems has increased storage density and picking efficiency with better stock rotation in the warehouse at its factory in Birmingham.

It achieved this with full-width roller track Span Track modules from The Live Storage Company to convert static pallet locations into dynamic live picking faces.

“We wanted to use the space in the warehouse more efficiently,” says Robert Jarman, operations director at Webasto Roof Systems.

“By introducing the Span Track modules we have improved picking efficiency and probably tripled the storage density in the areas we have reconfigured.”

The company recently reviewed component storage and handling operations at its Birmingham sun roof factory and recognised the need to improve its existing system.

It was storing items in conventional pallet racking but found that this was inefficient for its needs.

Items were picked and replenished from the same side of the racking which meant that components at the front would always be selected before those behind. Space had to be left on the front of the pallet for replenishing stock which meant that the density of items at the picking point was always low.

Robert Jarman says: “Our plan was to get rid of pallets and pick from the front face so that we could improve stock rotation and density.”

Webasto reconfigured four pallet locations with Span Track units on four levels to create 40 live picking tracks.

This was achieved by repositioning the existing cross beams and adding new ones to support the Span Track units.

Vertical spacing was matched to the height of the boxes so that the maximum number of picking points could be installed in the existing pick face.

The new picking zone accommodates lightweight boxed plastics and metal components used in Webasto’s manufacturing process.

Items are replenished at the rear of the racking and fed by gravity down the shallow rollered incline of the Span Track module to the front face which is at the optimum position for picking.

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