News story

Swisslog adds engineering talent

Wednesday, 14 May 2014 ( #667 ) - Newport News, VA, United States
Advanced materials handling automation firm Swisslog Logistics Inc is hiring 30 interns with electrical, computer and systems engineering skills for its Newport News facility.

The engineers are from Old Dominion University, a public research university in Norfolk, Virginia, and Christopher Newport University, a public liberal arts university located in Newport News. "Two-thirds of the interns will be offered permanent positions," says Bill Leber with the business development department of Swisslog's North American warehouse and distribution solutions business.

Swisslog utilises a 25,000 sqft. (2323 sqm) facility to outfit robots, configure orders and stock spare parts and critical materials. "The warehouse was previously leased out to Newport News shipping," Leber says. Offices occupy 20,000 sqft. (1858 sqm). The operation has 140 employees including 120 engineers with electrical, design and project management skills. Ten technicians and sales people operate from remote field locations.

Swisslog designs, develops and delivers automated logistics solutions including its recently introduced SmartLift-brand real-time labour, inventory and forklift tracking system.

The SmartLift warehouse global positioning satellite (GPS) system is "super accurate", Leber notes, and can provide instructions, direct placements and full route documentation. Swisslog featured SmartLift in its Modex 2014 exhibit in Atlanta.

The SmartLift tracking system uses conventional forklifts and traditional drivers. Each forklift is equipped with sensors that are tracked with an indoor GPS system and computer screen giving directions to the driver where to go and store box-topped pallets. A sensor automatically scans barcodes to find pallets. Locations are recorded for later use in finding them.

Swisslog Logistics will display SmartLift and its other warehouse and distribution solutions at IRCE (Internet Retailer Conference and Exhibition) on 10-13 June in Chicago.

For North America, in addition to the Newport News operations, Swisslog has a health-care solutions unit in Denver, Colorado. Swisslog acquired Munck Automation Technology in Newport News in 1998.

Publicly traded parent company Swisslog Holding AG of Buchs, Switzerland employs more than 2,000 staff in 20 countries.
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