Project Showcase

Robert Bosch Australia

When Robert Bosch Australia (RBAU) planned to introduce their new High Technology diode manufacturing line in Clayton, Victoria, it was evident that traditional materials handling systems would not be able to cope with a production capacity increased to over 100 million units per annum...

Working closely with Peter Milke, RBAU's Project co-ordinator, Kardex VCA looked beyond materials handling and focussed on materials management to identify the most appropriate turnkey solution. This led to the installation of Australian designed and built Kardex Shuttle™ automated storage systems controlled by Kardex VCA's proprietary inventory management software. Key features of the total solution are described below:

  • The system provides buffer storage capacity for approximately 5 million diodes.
  • A robot loads randomly presented cartons, each containing 1,000 diodes via the first floor portal. Part number, batch number and "use by" dates are automatically scanned into a Kardex inventory database.
  • Each database record is automatically appended with carton storage location for subsequent retrieval and traceability.
  • In response to customer orders, a second robot located at the ground floor portal, retrieves and unloads batches of 24,000 matched diodes, selected by part number, batch number and FIFO requirements.
  • Finally, the system generates shipping crate labels containing text and bar-codes representing part number, lot number, customer destination and earliest "carton use by" date contained in consignment.
  • Detailed stock location reports, transaction history, and audit logs are generated automatically, and then transferred to RBAU host system via wireless LAN.


The CAD model above shows two 14-metre tall custom-built Kardex Shuttle™ systems installed side by side (robots, scanners, conveyors and exterior cladding have been omitted to improve clarity).

The yellow transporter mechanism withdraws and moves the red trays (each containing 35,000 diodes) to the upper or lower access portals on demand.

The right hand side, single portal Shuttle™ shown with green trays, functions as a regular warehouse zone, and is used to store Surface Mount Technology (SMT) component reels used in the RBAU PCB assembly area.


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