Clics Toys, a manufacturer of building blocks, will increase productivity and streamline the order preparation process through automation. A container warehouse for the company is being built in Wuustwezel, Belgium. It is to provide a significant increase in storage capacity and allow the storage of 7,800 containers with dimensions of 400 x 600 mm.
Clics Toys is a Belgian manufacturer and creator of colourful building blocks, which has been operating for almost two decades. These toys are available in the markets of forty countries worldwide. They are supposed to develop children’s spatial imagination and creativity. The same features are also desirable in adults, including transport and logistics specialists. They invented, for example, automatic container warehouses, often called miniloads.
Container warehouse automates operations
The automatic container warehouse consists of a work aisle in which the stacker crane moves. It is equipped with the necessary ergonomic and safety systems to make daily operation and maintenance as easy as possible. The system is controlled by management software that records the distribution of all materials in the warehouse and takes stock in real time. The location of the goods in the warehouse can be determined at any time.
Among the key advantages, the supplier of the system used in Clics Toys lists the following:
– the use of the very convenient Goods-to-Operator principle,
– automation of operations at the entrance and exit of goods,
– constant control and updating of warehouse inventory,
– elimination of possible errors resulting from manual warehouse management,
– reduced picking and shipment preparation times,
– maximum use of storage space,
– convenience and ease of access to unit loads.
The storage racks for containers or trays are on both sides. The picking and handling area is located at one end of the racking system or at its side. It is made on the basis of small capacity conveyors on which the stacker crane places containers or trays removed from the rack. Conveyors transport the containers to the operator and, after the operator has completed an operation (e.g. goods picking), return them to the stacker crane to be placed on the shelf again.
Software monitors inventory levels
The system is managed by software that records the location of all goods in the warehouse and monitors the inventory in real time. The unique flexibility of the system ensures that it can be integrated into any production, storage or picking process.
The automated container systems are designed for storing various types of products: metal products, household appliances, spare parts and toys.
In the case of a toy factory, double-deep, 5m high racks were installed on both sides of two 40m long warehouse aisles. The task of the automatic stacker crane is to place and retrieve containers on and from the racks. At one end of the racks, there is a system of conveyors where the containers are delivered to the appropriate aisles for placement in the racks by the stacker cranes and, according to the Goods-to-Operator principle, to the employees.