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Logistex has recently completed an extensive modernisation and upgrade programme to a leading distribution company's automated high bay installation in Oxfordshire. Originally installed by Logistex 1995, the system had served the client well during a lengthy time of changing market conditions. However what were once state-of-the-art technologies were starting to become obsolete and the client identified specific areas for improvement to help maintain its growth and competitiveness in the market.
The former aging, single client WMS software has been replaced by Logistex's own Logistex Warehouse Management System (LWS), which now provides the user with multi-client capability, as well as improved productivity, flexibility and response. The result of several decades of experience in developing software systems, LWS is a user-friendly, modular and fully configurable single solution for warehouse management.
Logistex has also replaced the original Siemens S5 PLC controllers - which have been phased out by the manufacturer - with the latest Simatic S7 PLC, specifically designed for automated systems and with Profibus capability. They provide a more powerful and improved real-time response and have a larger program and data memory. With a range of expansion modules the LWS can easily be adapted to respond to further developments and changes in demand.
The project will provide a far more flexible, future-proof and reliable system for the next decade at least, able to handle the mix of clients and products needed to maintain maximum profitable utilisation of the 217,000ft facility.
Completed at a fraction of the cost of a full replacement programme and without the inevitable disruption, the investment required will require a far shorter payback period and a more positive ROI a strong argument in favour of upgrades in the present economic climate.
The temperature controlled facility holds some 42,500 pallets with 550 SKUs and is served by ten Maestro automated fixed aisle cranes. Orders ranging from full pallet loads to multi-part shipments are dispatched seven days a week to leading retailers, wholesalers and other key accounts.
Logistex continues to provide fast, effective on-site support, ensuring the maximum up-time availability and performance. Replacing older components in the system will ensure long-term continued spare parts availability and system reliability.
In a significant extension to its services, Logistex is now providing the client with full Site Engineering and Facilities Maintenance support covering almost every aspect of the building and systems - including handling and storage equipment, heating and energy management, utilities and services, building fabric inspections, safety and environmental issues, legislation compliance and insurance.