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Yamaha Motor Europe N.V., a manufacturer of motorcycles and motors located in Amsterdam (Netherlands), operates a central distribution center that supplies customers throughout Europe with trademark spare parts, accessories and advertising items.
The system began productive use in 1993 and consists of a 14-aisle tote warehouse and a 6-aisle pallet warehouse. Yamaha and Witron have planned to exchange all stacker cranes and conveyor system controls as part of a phased modernization concept.
In order to insure that availability and customer service levels can be maintained in the future,, Yamaha awarded Witron an order for re-developing two pallet cranes and three tote cranes at the end of June 2009. The drives, sensor technology, controls, and control cabinets for the cranes will be completely replaced by new and sustainable components. All mechanical elements of the stacker cranes will remain untouched.
The modernization will be carried out during the course of normal operations at the distribution center. This requires strict adherence to a time schedule, as Yamaha has specified that works can only be carried out during the low season which runs from October to January. The stacker cranes will be shut down during this period for modernization. Cranes will be turned back over to productive use one by one as modernization work is completed.
Since the first phase of modernization began in 2008, Witron has already changed and re-activated five stacker cranes according to the current delivery and performance scope. The old warehouse management server as well as the old warehouse control server has been replaced. The original software has been modified to work with the current server hardware and operating system.