Daifuku executes Hamad Airport ASRS parts project

Japan and world’s largest materials handling supplier secures contract for automated aircraft parts centre

A Daifuku package ASRS in action.
A Daifuku package ASRS in action.

Japan’s Daifuku, the world’s largest materials handling supplier of automated storage and retrieval systems (ASRS) is re-establishing itself in the Middle East, and has begun with a contract to deliver the aircraft parts centre at the Hamad International Airport in Doha.

Andrey Kras, account manager at Daifuku’s international business department, told PMV Middle East: “It’s a huge system: about 12 aisles of these stacker cranes, with eighteen transfer vehicles.

“Anything that a forklift that can handle, a static crane can also handle, and there’s simply no replacement for an ASRS when your throughput it high.”

The Doha airport parts centre project is a perfect example of where the speed and accuracy of an automated systems pay off, where parts must flow like clockwork with zero room for error.

However, the Qatar project wasn’t the first job for Daifuku in the region — that honour lies elsewhere.

“We got our first job in 1975 for a frozen SRS in Tehran,” Kras continued. “I got to know of it because a year ago they sent a request for parts, but we couldn’t find the schematic because the people involved with it were already long gone from Daifuku, and we had to make something up for them.

“But the fact is that all 10 cranes that were installed 40 years ago are still up and running — they just needed some spare parts. It was for a frozen pallet warehouse.”

Prior to 2014, Daifuku was receiving perhaps two enquiries a year from the Middle East – a figure that then grew to around 10 enquires last year, while in 2015, the company has already registered 20 requests.

Kras adds: “The market is becoming more aware of ASRS – they’re putting in the back of their minds that whenever they’re ready, they will buy this, so we need to be here to capitalise on this opportunity.

“We are currently in the process of installing another two projects in the region: one in Saudi Arabia and one in Oman, and I am following up on about 20 from customers.”

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