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AR Racking boosts logistics for automotive component firm RTS

17 January 2017

The solution consists of a new storage system for components and assembly line deliveries, applying the philosophy of Lean Manufacturing.

AR Racking, the complete storage system supplier, has designed and installed a new internal logistics and storage system for RTS S.A., which will allow the business to advance in its implementation of Lean Manufacturing. It was installed in the RTS factory in Mendaro, Gipuzkoa, in the Basque Country in Spain, where the factory manufactures automotive components.

Founded in 1983, the company has become a world leader in bearings for automobiles. It boasts a staff of over 400 employees and three production centres that span more than 25,000m2, with an ability to manufacture more than 15 million units/year, which provides an extensive range of products. 

The internal logistics improvement project was designed and directed by LKS Management Consultancy.  According to Anastasio Martínez, LKS Project Manager, the new system for the supply and storage of assembly components to assembly cells was designed using Lean concepts: “Supplying the right amount, at the right time”. To do so, the manufacturing program was used as a base, synchronising component delivery to the production line sequence.

The new system involved, adopting a smaller unit that held the parts and stock required. Metallic 800x600mm containers, with a 200 litre capacity were replaced by 300x400mm KLT boxes, with a capacity of 10 litres.

AR Racking has installed three storage solutions which optimise and facilitate the supply of components to assembly cells. There are two systems of gravity flow live storage racking and one with adjustable pallet racking. It includes picking at ground level with a capacity of 2,000 locations.

The gravity flow live storage racking allows for the optimisation of space and high density storage. It is a compact structure where pallets are placed on a set of rollers, which have a small incline to ensure that loads slide more easily.  They are detailed according to LIFO and FIFO systems for pallets and for boxes. 

In RTS, this system has been installed in one of their “half pallet” warehouses with LIFO and FIFO systems. It has a capacity of 2,500 number, 800x600mm half pallets with a maximum weight of 400 kgs. and a minimum of 60kgs. A gravity flow, live storage racking structure with LIFO system has also been installed for plastic containers. It has a capacity of 7,000 KLT plastic containers with dimensions of 300 x 400mm and a max. weight of 25kgs.

In addition, an adjustable pallet racking system was included providing 100% selectivity. This solution adds great versatility because it can be adapted for every type of load unit. It is also very easy to assemble and dismantle. The structure installed in RTS has a capacity of 1,600 number 800 x 600mm half pallets with a max. weight of 400kgs and a minimum of 60kgs and 5,000, 300 x 400mm KLT plastic containers with a max. weight of 25kgs.

In terms of internal logistics, the project has produced improvements in both security and productivity. The new system has meant redesigned assembly cells to improve ergonomics by moving the components closer to employees, thereby increasing operator security and productivity. Supplying components to assembly cells is done with low level order pickers, reducing the possibility for accidents. 

A storage management system (SMS) which optimises and facilitates storage tasks has also been installed - FIFO system, location management, picking route optimisation...- and the synchronised supply of components to assembly cells according to assembly programs.

As Xabier Rica, AR Racking Large quantity manager for the North, emphasizes: “In order to complete this project we used equipment specialised in logistical management which has been applied to supply chain challenges in a state-of-the-art way and with a highly technical capacity to deal with warehouse specific details.” 

Collaboration with RTS and LKS has been key to achieving proposed objectives: “AR Racking have been an invaluable aid which has helped us take important steps in our logistical management, in our commitment to efficiency and our service capability”, stated Asier Benito, RTS Industrial Director. 

AR provides extensive experience as a complete supplier in solving complex projects. This responsibility rests on the engineering team and I+D+i department. The business operates at an international level in more than 35 countries. 

It is part of the Arania Group, an industrial group with more than 75 years of experience in multi-sectoral steel processing.

 
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