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TGW automates Bentley parts centre

Wels (AT), 2012/04/04. When Bentley relocated its parts centre at Crewe in Cheshire, it turned to TGW Logistics Group to fit-out the new facility with an innovative automated warehousing solution.

TGW mini-load storagePreviously, the car manufacturer housed its automotive components within a designated area of its central warehouse at the Crewe manufacturing facility. Over time, the manual order picking of parts proved to be increasingly labour intensive so, when the need for additional space and improved efficiency arose, Bentley moved the parts division into a purpose built facility on the same site. To significantly improve the speed and accuracy of the order picking system following its transition to the new building, TGW designed and installed a state-of-the-art automated warehousing solution.

The system that TGW provided consisted of five automated storage and retrieval (ASR) machines to service the five aisles of warehousing and 60,800 storage locations within the new parts centre. The five 9 metre high Mustang mini-load ASR machines have rigid masts and telescopic handlers that can reach “double deep” into the storage rack maximising the use of space within the available footprint. Extremely energy efficient and with a lightweight construction and improved centre of gravity, the Mustang can also achieve high acceleration and travel speeds without a top drive, which reduces the power requirement and lowers the operating cost.

An automated conveyor system transports the parts to ergonomically designed workstations where they are presented in an optimised position for manual packing. This network of transport conveyors also links the goods receiving and product conditioning workstations to the automated storage system. All the equipment is controlled using TGW’s warehouse management system.

As a result of the installation, Bentley has benefited from improved pick accuracy and better inventory control. By making optimal use of the space within the footprint of the building, the solution has also delivered substantial operational efficiencies and cost savings.