The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport’s Annual Awards Dinner saw over 500 of the industry’s leading professionals gather at the Lancaster London Hotel for an evening of networking and celebrating excellence in the industry.
The awards are designed to recognise achievement and to encourage the highest standards and a professional approach to the practice of logistics and transport.
The evening was hosted by TV Presenter Naga Munchetty. CILT President Beverley Bell FCILT chaired the event and was joined by the Institute’s Patron, HRH The Princess Royal, who presented the awards to each of the winners.
Logistex and United Biscuits took home the award for the Warehouse Operations category, sponsored by Toyota Materials Handling (UK). The category was looking for a project delivering a world class performance in warehouse operations that demonstrates continuous improvement and productivity utilising the most appropriate equipment and software and a fully engaged workforce.
Royal United Biscuits have a continual goal to improve their warehouse operations. Using their strategic roadmap to automation as a guide, United Biscuits decided to automate their existing VNA operation. This presented some significant challenges. What they wanted to do was to convert a storage system designed for manually operated VNA machines into a fully automated system with no drivers. More than this, they needed to retain all the storage capacity they had and that meant it had to be able to pick and deposit pallets on pallets in the racking. This to our knowledge had never been done before – anywhere! United Biscuits looked to Logistex to meet these challenges.
The innovative solution that was designed and installed used Logistex’s innovative Condor crane technology. These are driverless machines, (hence the name, the ‘Ghost’ project!) however they can be manually driven if necessary. The machines are floor running which means that they are able to pick from near floor level, ultimately maximising the storage capacity – any other automated crane solution would have resulted in the loss of storage capacity. Pallets are double stacked in the racking for maximised storage capacity but need to be de-stacked in order to despatch singles. All of this stacking and de-stacking is carried out within the racking which is more efficient and saves time. The system is flexible and also offers the option of despatching doubles, which in turn increases productivity. The result has seen a successfully redeployed workforce, a 25% increase in throughput, as well as a cost saving of £600,000 per annum to name a few of the benefits!
Jerry Woodhouse, Managing Director at Logistex says; “The Logistex Team are delighted to have received this award which recognises the technical innovation and operational best practice involved in delivering a fully automated solution into an existing manual facility using Logistex’s double stacked pallet handling Condor cranes. The project has allowed United Biscuits to secure significant productivity gains and reduce product handling costs. ”