At its distribution centre in Perth, Western Australia, steel producer and wholesaler OneSteel Metalcentre, part of Arrium Mining & Materials Group, stocks approximately 8,000 tonnes of different types of material for supply to its branches and customers, including construction companies, shipyards and plant manufacturers. To streamline the handling and management of its extensive range of bar and tube, the company has invested in a Unicompact honeycomb storage system from German manufacturer Kasto.
Andrew Cosgrove, National Operations Manager at OneSteel explained, “We deliver a wide range of types and quantities of material, often just-in-time. The automated warehouse provides rapid access and continuous traceability of our stock, giving us the transparent, efficient storage that is crucial to our operation.”
The Unicompact at OneSteel has 2,272 cassette locations, each of which can accommodate five tonnes of material up to nine metres long. In total, almost half of the steel on-site, subdivided into some 700 different line items, is currently stored in the system.
Mr Cosgrove added, “Compared to conventional storage methods, the small footprint of the Unicompact provides very high storage density, which for us means shorter distances to move the material and more space for additional stock or process steps.
“The goods-to-man storage system has greatly reduced our access times. At the press of a button, material is loaded and unloaded from the store and sent automatically to the picking area. It guarantees productivity and efficiency in our business.”
He went on to explain that working in the warehouse has become considerably easier and the process more reliable. While the store carries out the laborious loading and unloading of material virtually by itself, employees have more time for other tasks.
KASTOlvr warehouse management software controls the processes and gives OneSteel a detailed overview of orders and stock levels. Every delivery and individual cassette can be identified and tracked, helping to avoid delivery errors and provide customers with a consistently high quality service. The software has also simplified the task of consolidating items required for each order.
Mr Cosgrove concluded, “Everyone at OneSteel is very impressed by the Unicompact storage system. It enables us to work more quickly, safely, reliably and efficiently than before.
“Ultimately, this is all to the benefit of our customers, as they get exactly the material they require from us, flexibly and in the shortest possible time.
“If additional capacity should be necessary in the future, the modular Unicompact system can be easily modified and extended to meet our new requirements.”