Licar International is a leading company in Europe in the production of cabinet doors and can boast a solid presence on the Asian markets and in North America. To increase efficiency and support its growth, the company embarked on a project aimed at maximizing the storage capacity and speed of its warehouse’s pallet handling operations. The choice was to adopt a technologically advanced structure, i.e. an automatic warehouse with five stacker cranes, with double-deep shelves, whose activities must be coordinated to improve the use of space and minimize times, respecting the target of 60 missions per hour.
Stesi configured its Silwa® Automation module, providing Licar with a WCS (Warehouse Control System), i.e. a software that controls and supervises the activities of the automatic handling devices. The WCS is interfaced with the PLCs of the automatic warehouse and with the company ERP, which constantly provides the master data (SSCC, items, dimensions and type) of the new pallets created in production. At the entrance to the warehouse, in a special automatic line, each pallet undergoes a very accurate shape control process (dimensions and weight), which also includes physical compaction and fork insertion simulation. Once it has been established that the pallet meets the dimensional requirements and can enter the warehouse safely, the WCS instructs the handling and stacker cranes to take the object to its final destination, which depends on various configurable storage logics. Obviously, the system also manages the reverse operation: when the sales office releases Order Picking Lists, the warehouse staff only has to order their execution. Silwa® takes care of correctly “instructing” the stacker cranes to extract all the required pallets from the warehouse.
The system saves time and space. Space, thanks to the management logic of configurable double-deep shelves, and time, thanks to the optimization of the missions, organized in combined cycles. Furthermore, the system guarantees business continuity, since it is possible to decide to distribute the pallets of the same reference on all the shelves served by the stacker cranes, thus avoiding that any downtime (e.g. for maintenance) prevents the picking of the references requested by customers .
The WCS module is part of the Silwa® Suite but can be integrated, as in the case in question, with any WMS and any ERP.