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FEATURE AUTOMATED WAREHOUSING


FAST-GROWING FABRICATOR INVESTS IN UK ‘INDUSTRY FIRST’


TWR, a growing manufacturer of windows and doors, has invested in what is understood to be a UK industry first with its installation of a Modula automated lift and storage system


heavy products from shelves. Our systems also improve stock accuracy which help business owners keep track of their supplies. “Last year alone we sold 5000 of our vertical storage systems worldwide and we work hard to provide customers with machines which are perfectly suited to their needs. In the past, we have produced lifts which can reach over 40 metres high. Ultimately, the system will speed up production at TWR, increase efficiency and minimise stock loss.” TWR’s investment in the pioneering system is another bold move by the Peterlee-based business and could pave the way for more companies to follow suit. Terry Richardson, managing director and founder of TWR, comments: “We’re already seeing the benefits of having invested in a Modula lift system and we anticipate that it will be prove a huge asset to our business in the coming years. “It has freed up a huge amount of space in our factory which will allow us


F


ollowing the opening of its third factory in August this year, the TWR


Group has recently invested in a pioneering Modula lift and storage system; and is the first UK-based glass and glazing company to do so. The Modula system is an automated storage and picking solution that has been built bespoke to TWR’s requirements. Typically, the system is found in sectors as diverse as healthcare, oil and gas and automotive. The Modula system installed at TWR is seven metres high and stores hundreds of products which can be accessed easily and efficiently by authorised personnel. John Farren is general manager of the UK branch of Modula Storage Solutions and discusses the advantages TWR will see from installing the automated vertical storage system. He comments: “As well as increasing a


company’s efficiency, our products also mean a reduced risk of injuries for employees who will not have to ascend ladders or stairs to retrieve potentially


20 NOVEMBER 2017 | AUTOMATION


to invest in other new products and systems going forward. Everything we do here at TWR is about being world-class and pioneering – the resources we have at our disposal are market-leading.” The TWR Group is one of the UK’s


leading aluminium and PVC-u trade fabricators and suppliers, boasting a huge selection of products including bi- folding doors, WarmCore products, and aluminium lantern roof windows.


Modula www.modula.com ROBOTICS SPECIALISTS DEVELOPING AUTONOMOUS FORKLIFTS S


cientists are working to develop new fleets of


autonomous ‘self-optimising’ forklift trucks which can operate safely and efficiently in warehouses alongside human co- workers, and automatically adapt to changing work demands. The goal of the project, a


multinational collaboration between robotics specialists in the UK, Sweden, Italy and Germany, is to enable deployment of next generation automated guided vehicles (AGVs) into current warehouse facilities to support tasks such as packing, palletising and transporting goods. The four-year project, called


ILIAD (Intra-Logistics with Integrated Automatic Deployment), is funded with a major grant of seven million


euros from the EU’s Horizon 2020 fund. The consortium is led by Örebro University in Sweden, and includes University of Lincoln, UK, University of Pisa, Italy, and Leibniz University, Hannover, Germany, working with major industrial partners Bosch, Kollmorgen Automation, ACT Operations Research, Logistic Engineering Services and Orkla Foods. ILIAD will deliver significant technological advances into a single integrated system ready for easy, low-cost deployment and without the need for major infrastructure investments. A key requirement is that each robot is ‘human aware’ – equipped with advanced computer vision and artificial intelligence to detect, track and predict the behaviour


T: +39 0522 774111


of humans and to plan movements based on the machines’ own observations of warehouse lay-outs and patterns of activity. Crucially, each robotic vehicle


will be self-optimising, learning from self-collected data over time, making the fleets fully scalable with the option of adding or removing robots at any time.


University of Lincoln T: 01522 886165 www.lincoln.ac.uk


/AUTOMATION


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