Unicharm has operations in 80 countries and is a market leader in Asia in baby and feminine care products.
Unicharm Corporation manufactures disposable hygiene products, household cleaning products, specializing in the manufacture of diapers for both babies and adult incontinence, feminine hygiene products and pet care products. It holds the top share of diaper sales in China, India, Indonesia, Vietnam and Thailand. Also its market share is rapidly expanding in India, nearly doubling its sales every two years.
Unicharm desired to free up floor space in order to allow more room for production. They also sought to attain FIFO inventory management and reduce shipping errors.
Daifuku installed an automated warehouse system in order to enhance their product storage capacity. The use of unused vertical space enabled them to reduce the footprint required for storage which enabled them to convert storage space to production space. The unitload Automated Storage and Retrieval System (AS/RS) is 74 feet tall and has nine stacker cranes and can store 22,638 pallets. An entire weeks worth of products or 600,000 cases can be stored in the AS/RS. Eight Sorting Transfer Vehicles (STV) were installed to efficiently transport pallets to and from the AS/RS. The automated warehouse system is able to store and retrieve about 240 pallets per hour.
The STVs are also use to transport products from the factory through an overbridge to the AS/RS. The retrieval process also uses STVs, transporting products from the AS/RS to the retrieval stations.The automated system also includes eight retrieval stations, three of which can also be used as storage stations for products from other factories. The logistics operations are consigned to a third party logistics provider that has a large domestic network, which conducts operations around the clock to 11 logistic facilities.
Storing products in the AS/RS instead of on the floor dramatically increased storage density which freed up needed floor space for production. The new storage process also greatly reduced picking/shipping errors. The AS/RS also enabled us to ensure FIFO inventory management and because it is capable of storing and retrieving 240 pallets per hour, Unicharm was able to lower their costs by improving labor efficiency.