Multinational Tier 1 Automotive Supplier
Deploys Slip AMRs at a Manufacturing Plant and Cross-Dock Warehouse Plant, Reducing Truck Loading/Unloading Time to < 5 Minutes on a High-Frequency Short-Haul Route
A multinational Tier 1 automotive supplier and manufacturer (“ABC Automotive”) continuously transports goods on short-haul, high-frequency truck routes back-and-forth between raw material cross-dock warehouses and nearby manufacturing facilities. These warehouses are responsible for receiving raw materials from various suppliers and loading them onto trailers for transport to manufacturing facilities. Speed and consistency of these deliveries directly impacts the overall output of a manufacturing operation.
On one such short-haul, high-frequency route between a warehouse and an ABC Automotive manufacturing facility about 15 minutes away, it typically would take about 2.5 hours for a truck to complete one round-trip delivery cycle between the facilities. The process of loading and unloading trailers at each of the facilities was the most time-consuming and labor-intensive part of this cycle, requiring 40+ minutes per trailer to load and about 25+ minutes per trailer to unload.
ABC Automotive searched for automated solutions to improve the overall throughput, efficiency, and safety at two particular facilities, a cross-dock warehouse and manufacturing plant, located in the eastern United States. ABC Automotive decided to deploy Slip’s automated trailer loading/unloading autonomous mobile robots (AMRs).
ABC Automotive aimed to cut trailer loading and unloading time, increase dock throughput, and reduce driver waiting times at both facilities for this short-haul, high-frequency shuttle transport route.
Slipbots autonomously load and unload trucks on a short-haul, high-frequency shuttle route
Slipbots operate at a raw material cross-dock warehouse and at a nearby manufacturing facility
Slipbots operate continuously across all 3 shifts operations to achieve around-the-clock coverage
ABC Automotive deployed 9 Slipbots to run a short-haul, high-frequency “shuttle” route between a raw material cross-dock warehouse and a manufacturing plant. On this route, cross-docked material is transported to the manufacturing facility on the inbound route, and then returnable packaging is transported from the manufacturing facility back to the cross-dock warehouse on the outbound route.
ABC Automotive deployed 9 Slipbots in order to always have 3 Slipbots at the cross-dock facility getting loaded with pallets, 3 Slipbots en route with a truck, and 3 Slipbots getting unloaded at the manufacturing site at all times. When the truck arrives at either site, 3 Slipbots autonomously exit the trailer and navigate to a staging area while 3 other Slipbots leave the staging area and autonomously enter the trailer.
Less than 1 hour after the Slipbots were delivered to their facilities, ABC Automotive began using them to autonomously load and unload their trucks.
By deploying Slip’s automated truck loading and unloading AMRs, ABC Automotive has reduced the time required to load a single trailer from 40+ minutes to just 3 minutes, an over 90% increase in speed. ABC Automotive has seen a 4x increase in driver productivity and dock throughput. This efficiency improvement has enabled the facility to handle higher volumes of raw materials with the same number of staff, resulting in significant cost savings.
ABC Automotive is now able to load and unload trailers without having forklifts or people go inside the trailers. This has not only drastically increased worker safety, but has also reduced product damage by 40% and eliminated damage to dock doors and trailers.
By increasing dock throughput and decreasing lead times and truck cycle times, ABC Automotive was able to reduce the space used for lineside storage inside the manufacturing plant. This directly increased usable manufacturing space and resulted in a 20% increase in overall production capacity at the manufacturing plant.