Project Description


Area:   Ennis, Ireland  

Application:   3 x Hänel Lean-Lift  

Main Benefits:   Software integration, barcode scanners, card readers 

Main goal:    To save space and reduce breakages due to high value products, manual retrieval and to improve job turnaround time through faster picking 

Additional benefits: Better stock transparency, happier workforce 

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Introduction to the company:

Essilor’s distribution facility comprised office space, research and production laboratories as well as, a large warehouse.  When Industore first visited the centre in County Clare, the antiquated storage system in use demanded an enormous chunk of the total facility footprint.  As demand increased, Essilor turned to Industore to rationalise their warehouse footprint – while maximizing storage capacity.

Project Description:

As well as recognising some simple, quickly implemented improvements which would be achieved by introducing automated storage and retrieval systems (AS/RS)Ireland Sales Director, Trevor Elliott applied his hard-won architectural logic to identify space-improvements, which would add to the enhanced efficiency Essilor sought.  Identifying the best place to install the lifts, an area near the rear of the building – where deliveries of inventory were unloaded frequently, Trevor measured the full head-height available, and commissioned a 6m high Hänel Lean-Lift with 64 trays.  This allowed to storage of 800 lens moulds per tray, giving a total of over 51,000 lens moulds in a footprint of just 10.13m2.  To put this into perspective, the equivalent storage space required for traditional shelving would have been close to 120m2. 

Hanel Soft: 

The integration of HänelSoft transformed Essilor’s approach to inventory storage.  Data recorded by the Lean-Lifts extended further than the MPN12 controller.  The software enables employees to access inventory data through a secure, online network – which essentially means it could be accessed from anywhere in the world.  That means, if a global pandemic were to strike, for example, Essilor could continue to operate entirely successfully with only a skeleton crew physically operating the lifts.

Through clever tray mapping, Essilor can now configure their inventory to guarantee the most efficient use of storage.  The intelligent system will calculate an access and storage percentage after returning the tray in the best spacesaving position.  This will allow the software to identify which trays are most frequently used, and store those trays nearer the front of the Lean-Lift, enabling the fastest possible retrieval.  The solution holistically has resulted in an enormous efficiency improvement for Essilor – which has been realised by all who work there.  

“The Hänel Lean-Lifts have a huge lifespan compared to some of our competitor’s offerings.  It isn’t unusual for me to visit a client site 30years since their lifts were installed and find that the units are still working at peak performance.  Moreover, our lifts have the capacity to change with you.  As your business develops and expands, our hardware and software will change with you.” 

Trevor Elliott, Sales Director at Industore

Post Installation:

Since Industore’s full implementation, Essilor have achieved their primary goals of increasing capacity and reducing their warehousing footprint.  Warehouse pickers’ time is much more efficient and inventory control is at its best ever.  Simultaneously, breakages and losses are at their lowest since operations began.  This ambitious and forward-thinking company have succeeded enormously in creating a much less claustrophobic atmosphere, as all very high racking has been removed from the warehouse, creating a happier working day for their employees.  Previously, stock checks required the full attention of an entire team.  Now, a single picker is able to undertake and complete this process – and even more impressively, complete the task in half the former time.  Perhaps most significantly, Essilor’s lead planning time has been decreased by 24-hours – gaining the company a day a week of production and business time.  Industore’s relationship with Essilor continues in the form of an annual aftercare plan, and the relationship now extends beyond Ireland, into the UK.