SSI Schaefer opens first China technology centre for intralogistics solutions
The German specialist’s technology centre near Shanghai has attracted many manufacturers and third-party logistics firms from across China
Country Business Reports interviews and articles by Discovery Reports www.discoveryreports.com
When Schaefer Systems International (SSI Schaefer) opened its first technology centre in Kushan near Shanghai this year, it attracted many manufacturers and third-party logistics firms from across China. A world-renowned specialist in intralogistics, the family-owned German company built the technology centre to allow market players to interact and share experiences as SSI Schaefer unveils its latest technologies.
One of the key exhibits is the highly efficient SCS900 goods-to-person picking station. A standalone system that can be easily integrated into existing warehouse systems, the horizontal carousel has a delivery capacity rate of up to 1,000 totes/hour and can handle up to 6,000 stock keeping units.
“What we are offering is to reduce workforce in countries with labour shortages such as Singapore, Hong Kong and mainland China,” says Brian Miles, regional managing director for Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Africa. “Our systems concentrate on cutting staff movement in the warehouse by bringing the goods to them while ensuring accuracy, speed, product security and ergonomics for warehouse personnel.”
SSI Schaefer draws on 80 years of accumulated expertise in the field, carefully passed down along three generations of the Schaefer family. With its regional headquarters in Singapore, the company has been in Asia for more than 30 years, offering complete turnkey solutions from conceptualisation of bespoke warehouse systems through to staff training and maintenance. Moreover, manufacturing facilities in Malaysia and China allow SSI Schaefer to provide all the necessary hardware from workstations and waste bins to standard industrial storage solutions and racking for automated storage and retrieval systems together with tote conveying systems.
“Key to our success is the support we get from our directors and shareholders in developing new technologies the company can bring to the market,” Miles says. “In particular, we have devoted a huge portion of our capital and engineering hours in developing our WAMAS Logistics Software.”
The innovation is the heart and brain of all of SSI Schaefer semi- and fully automated systems, where it provides a complete logistics software solution. One such system is the LogiMat storage lift, which is the company’s latest all-in-one storage and picking systems for small parts such as engineering spares or work-in progress. Resembling a cabinet that could rise as high as 24 metres depending on client requirements, the LogiMat storage lift has a footprint 90 per cent smaller than traditional stationary storage solutions. Moreover, because it is fully automated using various alternative WAMAS software that can be interfaced to the host computer, the LogiMat storage lift eliminates personnel travel time.
With 18 offices and more than 1,000 people in 15 Asian countries, SSI Schaefer complements its technological leadership with a serious dedication to customer satisfaction. “The fact that we have grown to more than 70 offices worldwide only means we have become far closer to our customers,” Miles says. “We have dedicated teams of design engineers, project managers and information technology (IT) specialists here in Singapore and in all of our hubs to customise our product range to suit specific Asian markets. They can also communicate with customers in their local language.”
In Asia, especially China, the challenge for SSI Schaefer is to continuously transform its range of technologies and equipment into solutions the different market segments need. In particular, the company is eyeing verticals such as health care, cosmetics, fashion, food and beverages, supermarkets and e-commerce.
“These sectors require different distribution centres and IT to support them,” says Xavier Perello Pairada, managing director for South and Southeast Asia. “The Asian market is growing too fast and the challenge for us is to come up with solutions that give our clients the flexibility to change with the market.”