Major upgrade for logistics company’s Durban DWS system

07 March 2018 | Web Article Number: ME20188959

Instrumentation, Measurement & Control
Materials Handling & Bulk Handling
Transport & Logistics

SICK Automation recently upgraded The RTT Group’s Dimensioning, Weighing and Scanning (DWS) systems at the company’s Durban and Johannesburg operations.  

The upgrade included replacing Sick’s older-generation DWS system with its DWS Dynamic system that features new technologies to improve measurement accuracy. The new system also makes provision for increased spare parts availability for the logistics company. The next generation DWS Dynamic offers a complete packaged solution by enabling the simultaneous collection of parcel dimensioning, weighing and barcode scanning in one system.  

With Sick’s DWS Dynamic, all three components are measured instantly as the parcel travels along RTT’s conveyor systems. The single-source DWS Dynamic solution combines an in-flight weighing conveyor belt, overhead scanners, laser-based volume scanners and image-based barcode readers to capture the size, weight, volume and barcodes of over 1 200 parcels per hour.  

All data is communicated in real time to RTT’s IT network via a secure network.  

“Logistics companies are constantly looking to improve the speed and accuracy of their warehouses and depots, and our DWS systems play an integral role in RTT’s operations,” said Danie Labuschagne, Technical Manager – Factory Automation & Logistics Automation.  

“The original scanners were installed in 2009 and are still operating to spec. But as the range has been replaced with a newer model, spare parts availability was becoming more difficult. This means that if a DWS system shuts down then RTT’s entire operation is forced into the time-intensive process of manually measuring, weighing and identifying each parcel – so therefore spare parts availability is critical to reduce any possible downtime for the company.”  

In order to minimise disruptions to operations during the installation process, Sick upgraded the two systems on the company’s quieter Monday evenings, which became operational the following evening. The Durban and Johannesburg installations were upgraded in July and August last year respectively.  

Sick, with representation throughout the country, has also entered into a Service Level Agreement with RTT to ensure the timeous supply of spare parts and service for the new range of DWS Dynamic systems. This will minimise any potential downtime risks.  

Sick is the sole supplier of DWS systems to RTT’s South African operations, with 15 DWS systems installed throughout Johannesburg, Durban, Cape Town, Port Elizabeth and Polokwane. The company has already upgraded 13 of RTT’s DWS systems with an additional two upgrades in the pipeline.

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