A Novel Approach to Inventory

The Diresco factory houses several technological innovations, but one of the most-innovative touches is a concrete floor.

Not just any concrete floor. It’s the base for the company’s automated inventory system that puts slabs in a different perspective … as in flat stacks.

Flat slab storage? Sure, it’s something that some manufacturers and fabricators utilize with steel-shelf racks, but stacks more than 4’ high on a concrete floor?

Diresco CEO Jos Bongers explains that the company took an incredible amount of care with the floor, calibrating it to be absolutely flat. Making the floor a very precise level surface means that slabs can rest atop each other without warping.

There’s more than the flat floor with the storage. The entire area is accessible with a vacuum lifter mounted on a gantry crane. A computerized database records the contents of each stack; an electronic picking sheet instructs the crane to find and assemble orders.

The ingenious system saves space, speeds up order preparation, and reduces handling hazards to employees. It didn’t escape the notice of one of Diresco’s largest customers; the massive Jetstone fabrication facility in Deurne, The Netherlands, installed a similar structure as part of its new, fully automated stone-fabrication line.

-- Emerson Schwartzkopf

Photo courtesy Diresco