SSI Schaefer celebrates 75 years in the materials handling game

Warehouse automation and industrial storage solutions provider, SSI Schaefer, is celebrating 75 years of business this year, touting Australasia and South East Asia as its biggest growth areas.

According to the company’s regional managing director, Brian Miles, SSI Schaefer won several significant automation projects in Australasia and South East Asia last year, exceeding the company’s expectations.

Local Australian and New Zealand distributors were recently treated to a trip to Singapore to view SSI Schaefer’s new Tech Centre, which showcases a range of conveyors and picking technologies, including Good-to-Person pick stations that reportedly offer users more than 1,000 picks per person, per hour.

The company also showcased its Orbiter system designed for channel storage, along with mobile racking systems and Logimat vertical lift systems, all of which are said to achieve optimal storage density.

During 2011, the materials handling solutions provider opened a 5,000-square-metre assembly hall at its Malaysian factory, dedicated to producing a range of new conveyors which the company claims are “super quiet low energy” models offering European standards at competitive Asian prices.

A Malaysian-made pallet racking range called Interlock 600 was reportedly certified as FEM 10.02.02-compliant in 2005, following tests undertaken in Dortmund and Greenwich Universities.

According to the company, this range has now been tested and certified by an independent Australian Structural Engineering company to be compliant to the AS 4084-2012 standard, which was introduced in February.

“It was decided to continue to invest in Malaysia, where the company has a 6.5 hectare site and a labour force of close to 300 of which over 200 have more than 5 years service with the company,” said Miles.

“In the region, we have excellent relationships with our steel suppliers who can provide us with a higher quality of steel than is available in China.

“In fact we export uprights to China for projects which require higher frame and bay loadings against the trend of manufacturers using China as their export base.

“To meet a growing demand from our 15 subsidiaries from Australia to South Africa and Dubai to South East Asia, we have just installed a second paint line and increased our warehouse loading area to 5,500m2 with 10 loading docks.

“By increasing the critical mass to 30,000mt of production in 2011, the company has been able to achieve real savings in the last 6 months, which has helped Schaefer increase its market share.”

Of the company’s 75th birthday celebrations, Miles said: “Schaefer has built its 75 year reputation on providing quality products supported by outstanding service. This is why globally and here in Asia, the company is recognised as No. 1, the market leader.”