The US$10-million upgrade of global semiconductor company Texas Instruments’ product distribution center (PDC) in the Free Trade Zone in Changi, Singapore, was jointly unveiled by TI, DHL Supply Chain, and Swisslog, a global provider of automated logistics solutions for warehouses, distribution centers, and hospitals.
“The automation allows four times the volume of products to be stored within the same floor space, increases productivity by some 40 percent and vastly improves accuracy and visibility of the inventory. Such turn-key logistics solutions are a boon for land-scarce countries like Singapore where land and labor costs run high,” said Oscar de Bok, CEO, South and South East Asia, DHL Supply Chain.
“DHL has pioneered the implementation of AutoStore in Asia for the semiconductor industry, and it can be similarly applied to a broad range of industries, such as the life sciences and engineering sectors, fashion and luxury goods,” he added.
With the upgrade, TI’s PDC has significantly increased its capacity, said Larry Tan, president of Texas Instruments Asia, in a released statement. “Within a space that previously stored 500 million semiconductor units, we will ramp up to two billion units this year.”
With TI swiftly outgrowing its PDC in Changi, DHL Supply Chain recommended Swisslog to implement the AutoStore inventory management system, a solution that allows optimal use of existing space and increased productivity through automation.
A key space-saving aspect of AutoStore is that the system eliminates the need for the aisles that are required between shelves in a typical warehouse for movement of people and products. Two billion semiconductor chips may be stored in the 63,000 bins stacked within a massive grid that is 108 rows wide, 38 rows deep, and spans the height of 16 bins.
The warehouse management software known as the AutoStore Control System acts as the nerve center by controlling the entire inventory flow in and out of the grid as well as the 36 robots plying the top of the grid to both store and extract products.
More than 800 meters of Swisslog light goods conveyor system connect the AutoStore grid to receiving and shipping areas, allowing for a swift flow of inbound and outbound goods within the PDC, which is fully operated by DHL Supply Chain.