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Texas Instruments, DHL and Swisslog unveil Asia’s first AutoStore® automated warehouse

Sep 5, 2013

  • Advanced  inventory management solution that allows for improved accuracy and space efficiency, a first in Asia
  • US$10 million (SGD$12.8 million) facility upgrade quadruples storage capacity from 500 million to two billion semiconductor units
  • Significant space utilization and automation result in 40 per cent boost in productivity

SINGAPORE, 5 SEPTEMPER 2013 - Texas Instruments (TI) (NASDAQ: TXN), DHL Supply Chain, and Swisslog (SIX: SLOG) jointly unveiled Asia’s first distribution center featuring the AutoStore® automated storage and order picking system – a technological leap in warehouse management and a new benchmark for the logistics industry. The innovation was unveiled at the US$10 million (SGD$12.8 million)  upgrade of TI’s Product Distribution Center (PDC), located in DHL Supply Chain’s hub within the Free Trade Zone in Changi, Singapore.  The upgrade is an enhancement of the US$19.5 million (SGD$25 million) facility wholly owned by DHL Supply Chain.

“The automation allows four times the volume of products to be stored within the same floor space, increases productivity by some 40 per cent and vastly improves accuracy and visibility of the inventory. Such turn-key logistics solutions are a boon for land-scarce countries like Singapore where land and labor costs run high,” said Oscar de Bok, CEO, South and South East Asia, DHL Supply Chain. “DHL has pioneered the implementation of AutoStore® in Asia for the semiconductor industry, and it can be similarly applied to a broad range of industries, such as the life sciences and engineering sectors, fashion and luxury goods.”

“The upgrade to TI’s Product Distribution Center has significantly increased the capacity of the facility. Within a space that previously stored 500 million semiconductor units, we will ramp up to two billion units this year,” said Larry Tan, President, Texas Instruments Asia.  “As a leader in analog and embedded processing semiconductor technologies, TI develops leading-edge products that provide greater power efficiency, enable more features, enhance performance and deliver more value to our customers. The new automation solution delivers the same level of innovation we promise to deliver to our customers every day.”

For over 10 years, TI, one of the world’s largest semi-conductor companies, has made Singapore its major distribution base for Asia Pacific. With significant volume growth over the past few years, TI was swiftly outgrowing its PDC in Changi. DHL Supply Chain, TI’s logistics partner, evaluated the logistics requirements and recommended Swisslog to implement AutoStore® inventory management system – a solution that allows optimal use of existing space and increased productivity through automation.

“This investment in state-of-the-art warehousing solutions exemplifies how the logistics industry in Singapore can achieve growth and competitiveness through operational excellence and productivity gains.  I would like to commend TI, DHL & Swisslog for their strong collaboration in coming up with innovative solutions to enhance competitiveness and global distribution capabilities in Singapore,” said Quek Swee Kuan, Deputy Managing Director, Singapore Economic Development Board.

Advanced Automated Warehousing System – A boon for land-scarce Singapore

Spanning 7,500 square meters of DHL Supply Chain’s 20,000 square meters facility, the US$10 million (SGD$12.8 million) upgrade features the advanced AutoStore® system implemented by Swisslog that comprise of a massive grid measuring 65m x 18m x 5.4m. A key space-saving aspect of AutoStore® is that the system eliminates the need for the aisles that are required between shelves in a typical warehouse for movement of people and products (refer to Annex A). Two billion semiconductor chips may be stored in the 63,000 bins stacked within the grid, which is 108 rows wide, 38 rows deep and spans the height of 16 bins.

Thirty-six robots ply the top of the grid to both store and extract products within the grid, based on the orders placed through the warehouse management software known as the AutoStore® Control System (ACS). The ACS acts as the nerve center by controlling the entire inventory flow in and out of the AutoStore® grid.  Every item within the grid is electronically tagged, providing full visibility of the inventory at any one time. Backend information built into the system allows the robots to pick inventory based on the specific requirements of TI’s customers – for example, retrieving items manufactured within a specific date range.

More than 800 meters of Swisslog light goods conveyor system connect the AutoStore® grid to receiving and shipping areas, allowing for a swift flow of inbound and outbound goods within the PDC, which is fully operated by DHL Supply Chain. Products arrive from 20 inbound countries and orders are consolidated and shipped to 54 outbound countries, complete with country-specific labeling created at the facility in Singapore.

“There is no bigger innovation in the material handling industry than a solution that increases both storage capacity and productivity. This is particularly true in Singapore where space and operating costs come at a premium. Automation systems like AutoStore® and light good conveyor solution are a natural progression for companies that are looking to boost their operation’s productivity. With AutoStore® and our comprehensive solution portfolio, we will be even closer to our Asian customers to realize the right automation level for them,” said Koh Seng Teck, Head of Southeast Asia, Swisslog.

About the Partnership between Texas Instruments, DHL and Swisslog

Under the partnership, Texas Instruments’ inventory is stored and managed by DHL Supply Chain, which provides full-service logistics support including receiving, storing, shipping, picking, and shipment preparation. TI and DHL worked together with Swisslog for the design and implementation of intralogistics automation that included AutoStore® inventory management system and light goods solution.

About Texas Instruments

Texas Instruments Incorporated (TI) is a global semiconductor design and manufacturing company that develops analog ICs and embedded processors.  By employing the world’s brightest minds, TI creates innovations that shape the future of technology.  TI is helping more than 100,000 customers transform the future, today.

Learn more at www.ti.com

About DHL

DHL – The Logistics company for the world

DHL is the global market leader in the logistics industry and “The Logistics Company for the world”. DHL commits its expertise in international express, air and ocean freight, road and rail transportation, contract logistics and international mail services to its customers. A global network composed of more than 220 countries and territories and about 285,000 employees worldwide offers customers superior service quality and local knowledge to satisfy their supply chain requirements. DHL accepts its social responsibility by supporting environmental protection, disaster management and education.

DHL is part of Deutsche Post DHL. The Group generated revenue of more than 55 billion Euros in 2012.

About Swisslog

Swisslog is a global provider of automated logistics solutions for warehouses, distribution centers and hospitals. With years of experience in the development and implementation of integrated logistics solutions, Swisslog provides the expertise that customers in more than 50 countries around the world rely on. Headquartered in Buchs/Aarau, Switzerland, Swisslog currently employs over 2100 staff in 20 countries worldwide. For more information, please visit www.swisslog.com