Case Study

Hitachi Energy

Hitachi Energy Optimizes High-voltage Service Warehouse in Zurich With AutoStore

Kardex Holding AG

To keep up in today’s fast-changing marketplace, electronics manufacturers require the latest automated warehouse solutions to stay competitive. That’s why Hitachi Energy turned to AutoStore to rebuild the logistics in place at their facility in Dietlikon, Switzerland.

Hitachi Energy, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi, Ltd., is a leading producer of transformers, sensors, and other high-voltage products for use in a wide range of energy infrastructure systems. Their facility in Dietlikon, Switzerland, is a major hub for the "High Voltage Products" business unit, processing a variety of service components.

The challenge

A recent change in how they handle storage at the site prompted Hitachi Energy to switch to smaller units, necessitating a substantial logistical overhaul in the wake of a business transfer. However, such an expansion posed a risk of increasing processing times and requiring more warehouse space, thus raising operational expenses while reducing the company’s ability to track, maintain, and dispatch stored items reliably.

With the existing system at risk of reduced efficiency due to longer walking distances and more complicated processing infrastructure, the company needed an order fulfillment solution capable of supporting existing needs as well as any potential future expansion.


Benefits of the AutoStore system

With the AutoStore automated warehouse system, Hitachi Energy was able to maximize available space at the Dietlikon site while maintaining their commitment to sustainable operations. In addition, the reconfigured facility will enable the company to process orders more quickly due to greater operational efficiency and accountability.

Other benefits Hitachi Energy derived from the AutoStore system include:

  • Optimal usage of existing warehouse space
  • Faster order processing, picking, and shipping times
  • Increased flexibility to meet demand
  • Boosted energy efficiency in line with record of investment in sustainable technology

How the system works

The AutoStore system is built around a modular, highly customizable Grid of aluminum rails, along which Robots move to retrieve, sort, and track items from Bins stacked compactly in vertical columns. This vertical storage model is a key factor behind the Grid’s superior space-saving qualities. Furthermore, Grids can be customized to fit facilities of any size and shape using 17 standardized, interchangeable components.

In the initial phase, Hitachi Energy’s automated warehouse solution involved the installation of 3,000 Bins, each measuring 65 cm x 45 cm x 20.3 cm. The new system is equipped with two battery-powered R5 Robots and two Conveyor Ports. Using the Kardex Control Center automated warehouse management system, operators can direct the Robots to quickly retrieve stored Bins and deliver them to a workstation for picking, replenishment, packing, inspection and inventory control, and shipping.

With further expansion of the new AutoStore solution underway, Hitachi Energy’s Dietlikon facility represents a major improvement in the company’s ability to scale to meet demand while minimizing site expenses and continuing to ensure a high degree of satisfaction among customers and clients.

System overview

  • 3,000 storage Bins
  • 2 R5 Robots
  • 2 conveyor Ports

Due to a business transfer, our storage requirements changed from rather large and heavy boxes to smaller components. Our existing storage solutions would have had to be expanded, resulting in more picking points and longer walking distances, which we were able to avoid with an AutoStore solution. In order to optimize our logistics processes and use our existing space more efficiently, we have found the right solution in AutoStore.

Patrick Looser
Head of Service Logistics Center, Hitachi Energy

Want to learn more about this case?

Talk to an automation expert.

Let's talk

Want to learn more about this case?

Talk to an automation expert.

Let's talk

Let’s figure out how you can benefit from AutoStore

AutoStore can fit any warehouse or fulfillment center. Make yours the next.