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Lintec Corporation

LINTEC completed upgrade at its roll handling facilities, implementing AS/RS and AGV to improve intralogistics efficiency

LINTEC Corporation, a general manufacturer of adhesives headquartered in Tokyo, supplies diversified products from adhesive paper for seals and labels to optical films for flat-screen TVs to Japan, China, as well as other Asian and Western countries.

In August 2010, a reconstruction project was completed at Tatsuno Factory (in Hyogo), which produces 70 percent of the company’s main products. At this facility, LINTEC consolidated cutting and shipping functions and introduced various Automated Storage and Retrieval Systems (AS/RS) and the high speed rail-guided vehicle system STV for handling roll-shaped unfinished/finished products at the new Eighth Building. The changes enhanced both productivity and processing throughput from receiving to shipping by streamlining intra-logistics including painting, cutting, packing, and shipping.

With the automated manufacturing system, LINTEC has gained a significant competitive advantage by improving product traceability, quality, cost, and delivery time.

Consolidating storage, cutting, and shipping processes

LINTEC was established as Fuji-Shokai in 1927 and changed its name to LINTEC following the integration of Shikoku Seishi Corporation and Soken Kako Corporation in 1990. The company’s net sales reached 189.348 billion yen (for fiscal year ending in March 2010) and employs approximately 4,000. The company has 10 domestic production sites and 10 overseas sites. The domestic factories for seals and labels are Agatsuma (in Gunma), Kumagaya (in Saitama), and Chiba Factories, as well as the main Tatsuno Factory.

The Tatsuno Factory opened in 1969. Since then, the site area was expanded to 60,000 sqm (645,835 sq. ft.) to accommodate new buildings as the business grew. Previously, the First Factory, which included the First and Second Buildings, and the Second Factory, which included the Third to Seventh Buildings were divided by a local, prefectural, road. The cutting and shipping areas were dispersed in four locations on site. To cross the road, unfinished products had to be loaded onto trucks or moved by a forklift, which caused delays. Receiving and retrieval operations took additional labor and time since products were stored on vertical carousel racks and fixed racks. Many raw materials and unfinished products were stored on the floor, which required manual handling. Under these conditions, at peak times 40 percent of the same-day deliveries were not completed by the shipping deadline of 8 p.m.

In October 2008, LINTEC started a “Tatsuno Factory reconstruction project” investing 4 billion yen to solve the problems. This was the largest reconstruction in the company’s history, which included downsizing the Third Building and building a new Eighth Building to consolidated storage, cutting and shipping functions.

Labor savings and quality improvement were achieved, while maintaining production capacity

The Eighth Building consists of a rack-supported building unit load AS/RS and a four-level building. The first floor is used for shipping, the second and third floors for cutting, and the fourth floor for a product warehouse. A mini-load AS/RS installed in the product warehouse ensures there is enough space for each area in the small site. The Eighth Building is connected with the Third, Fourth, and Sixth Buildings, as well as an adjacent outside warehouse, via STVs, lifters and conveyors.

Painting machines apply adhesives to paper and films at each building. Release paper is stuck to them and reeled off to form unfinished products. The unfinished products are stored in the rack-supported building AS/RS. Unfinished products that are over one ton are stored in the outside warehouse. Then, the designated items are retrieved depending on cutting instructions and transported to the cutting area via the STVs. The items are fabricated including cutting to meet delivery sizes and sorted by large or small sizes through a recognition device. The large items are stored directly, while the small items are stored in a container to increase storage density in the mini-load AS/RS. They are retrieved, packed, and then shipped according to orders. A label-printing system with two-dimensional codes, which LINTEC sells, is used to control products from storing to shipping.

The series of operations are mostly automated, resulting in increased productivity. Even though the number of cutting machines was reduced, the production capacity maintains the same level as before and all shipping operations are completed in time. The number of workers related to the intra-logistics on site was reduced by 40 percent. Additionally, quality is improved because products are transported inside the room and not affected by outside temperature. With automation, shipped products are identified by a computer that communicates which cutting machine and painting machine was used. If a damaged product is found, it is simple to identify the cause.

AGVs carrying work-in-process to the lifter.
Rack-supported building AS/RS with 5 stacker cranes and 4,725 storage locations. Rolls are directly stored without pallets.
Miniload AS/RS with 14 stacker cranes and 8,580 locations enables retrievals of up to 1,000 rolls per hour.

Customer's Voice

Shigeyuki Ichinose,
Deputy Plant Manager

By expanding the buildings and storage facilities, we were able to complete the large-scale project. Now, we no longer need to pick up unfinished products with clamps, which often caused surface damage. The yield ratio is improved and the incineration cost for the damage can be reduced. We intend to consolidate all production of materials for seals and labels into the Second Factory to increase productivity even more.