TBA Leicester, developer of the Autostore brand of warehouse management system (WMS), warehouse controls system (WCS) and automation solutions, has been providing integral software solutions to British Gypsum’s Barrow-upon-Soar plaster production plant since 2008.
British Gypsum is the UK’s leading manufacturer of interior lining systems and part of the Saint-Gobain group. The company has over 100 years’ experience in plaster, plasterboard and ceiling solutions with five main manufacturing locations in England.
The Barrow-upon-Soar facility remains one of the largest and most technologically advanced plant of its kind in the world. The site underwent a major expansion that was completed in 2002 to meet growing demand for its speciality product, Thistle plasters.
TBA was initially commissioned to facilitate the automation experience, particularly the PLC code and hardware, to operate the impressive fully automated Highbay Cranes. These cranes have over 8,000 pallet locations and turn over product in 48 hours to support a fast-moving supply chain.
Autostore’s modular flexibility eventually convinced British Gypsum to upgrade to the WCS module. Subsequent technology upgrades, including Wi-Fi, laser positioning technology and onboard cameras, made it possible for TBA to introduce the innovative ‘Remote Control Station’ to the British Gypsum operation. Based on a standard solution from TBA and enhanced in collaboration with British Gypsum engineers, it combines camera technology with remote manual operation of the cranes. This has dramatically reduced the number of interventions on the cranes which require working at height. The productivity gains together with health and safety benefits are truly impressive.
According to Bruce Fisher, project manager at British Gypsum, the choice for Autostore from TBA was evident:
‘One of the main reasons we chose TBA and Autostore was the degree of collaboration, flexibility and support that they offer. There have been several cases where this has been put to the test and each time TBA have delivered. We are very much looking forward to the next phase of development with them.’
TBA places high value in customer relationship and Andrew McKaig, managing director at TBA Leicester, states: ‘TBA is very pleased to have British Gypsum as a long-standing customer and Autostore User. We are working hard to ensure that we deliver the highest quality of product and customer service to British Gypsum and look forward to continuing the partnership for many years to come’.