Lear Corporation

Lear Corporation is one of the largest supplier of automotive components and internal systems in the world. Lear Corporation Italia has chosen CASSIOLI for design and deployment of a car seats assembly line located at Melfi (following the previous installations at Caivano, Cassino, Cergy, Courbouton, Grugliasco, Lagny, Termini Imerese, Trnava).

CASSIOLI – LEAR CAIVANO from Diamond Phoenix Automation on Vimeo.

The plant is composed of two tack-time lines for assembling front and rear seats. An interoperable automated warehouse allows for synchronising the two manufacturing flows. The whole system is characterised by a high automation level and integration among different plants, such as anthropomorphic robots and the automated warehouse.

This particular plant engineering solution adopted allows the company to produce one just-in-time, front/rear seat combination every 47 seconds.

For more information on the Diamond Phoenix range of automation solutions, please call +44 (0)1908 592 354 or visit www.diamondphoenix.com.


Delivering Professionalism and safety in the foods and beverages sector

Today, for food companies that deal in a highly competitive and modern, it is essential to keep costs and timing of the supply chain but, above all, it is essential to ensure the safety and health of consumers treating foods with the right mode suitable to preserve its freshness by preventing the risk of contamination and deterioration.

The automation systems of storage and picking is the added value that ensures the entire chain of the food industry To achieve high performance security and profitability of the plant is the goal to be reached to allow, in the long run, an overall improvement of the efficiency of the company is reflected in significant competitive advantages over competitors.

Diamond Phoenix has developed customised solutions and installed systems for its clients, depending on the food to transport and store, installing plants partially or fully automated.

For more information on Diamond’s high performance food and beverage sector capabilities, please call +44 (0)1908 592 354 or visit www.diamondphoenix.com.

DHL – Swindon

DHL Swindon is one of the flagships within the M&S distribution network. They were faced with needing a Phase II development as projections highlighted an increase in demand at the Swindon facility. Further stores were due to be serviced by this depot and generally higher throughput was predicted, this made it clear that the previous goods receiving system would simply be unable to cope especially during peak periods.


Diamond Phoenix, one of the market leaders in the design, manufacture, integration and installation of innovative material handling solutions, were invited to provide a solution for the Phase II development, they had previously worked with DHL on their West Thurrock and Long Easton sites and therefore had the experience that DHL needed to achieve their targets. Diamond Phoenix completed the work within five months and Phase II is now fully operational. They worked closely with the site for the switch over and were on hand to iron out any teething problems.

DHL Swindon now has two telescopic boom conveyors at ground floor for unloading containers. The conveyor loop discharges carton’s/totes to 14 processing lanes via swivel wheels. As the operator pulls a carton’s/tote for processing the next carton is automatically brought forward. The lanes can be switched on and off as required dependant on the workload and if all the processing lanes are full the conveyor loop circulates carton’s/totes until space becomes available within the processing lanes.


There were two main goals that needed to be achieved:

  1. Increase the number of carton’s/totes to be process
    within a given period.
  2. Reduce the response time from tipping of received cartons to processing.

Both were achieved with resounding results as the figures below show with the conveyor system only running at 60% capacity. It has also been designed to add more processing lanes for future rises in through-

  • Old Daily Peak – 5402 outers processed over 3 shifts
  • New Daily peak – 8114 outers processed over 2 shifts

Roger Nicholls, General Manager at DHL Swindon comments, “DHL had worked with Diamond Phoenix previously so when it came to implementing a system we knew that they would provide the expertise to deliver our requirements. We have essentially seen a 33% increase in outers processed in a two shift day, as opposed to a three shift day in the year previously. At off-peak times all requirements can be achieved in a single shift as opposed to two shifts previously. The system is still not at full capacity and the increased efficiency in the processing and/or added lanes will increase the performance further. “

The design brief was to automate the system from unloading to the processing operative. Firstly, Diamond Phoenix included 2 off automatic extending boom conveyors for unloading purposes (allowing two containers to unload simultaneously) improving the unloading process considerably. The previous single line conveyor was replaced by a recirculation loop with automated sortation to 14 off processing lanes (which could be switch on or off depending on workload).

The recirculation loop allowed received carton’s/totes to be continually moved around the system, this had the following impact:

  • The unloading process is continuous, (no stop or start) this massively improves the vehicle turnaround cycle.
  • Received carton’s/totes continuously move past processing lanes, allowing transfer time of carton’s /totes to process lanes to be reduced significantly.
  • The processing lane design used ZLP (zero line pressure) zones, this means the processing operator can handle individual carton’s/totes without interference from other packages, further improving process times.
  • As a high level system summary, the processing operators always have a constant work supply, never waiting for inbound carton’s/totes.

Graham Boner Sales Director at Diamond Phoenix UK commented, “We are delighted to have again worked with DHL on such an important results based project. The recirculation conveyor system is the only one of its kind within the M&S supply chain and unique to Diamond Phoenix”. He went on to say, “This was a part of a larger facility expansion and there were multiple parties involved. It was clear from the early design stage that we had grasped the requirements and goals, this led to confidence by all parties involved which in turn led to good communication flow for both technical and operational data.” “The early relationship cemented itself once implementation had begun, the project was completed on time and within budget.”


When furniture retailer IKEA decided to expand its distribution in the UK, it looked to Ashton in the North West to alleviate some pressure off its Warrington and Leeds stores. This site, althrough perfect in location, presented the retailer with some very different logistics challenges in comparison to other IKEA sites across Europe. In terms of size, square footgate and number of floors, the Ashton warehouse was unique and required the assistance of a logistics partner to meet the challengers head on.

With every operation under increasing pressure to achieve maximum efficiency. Diamond Phoenix, a market leader in materials handling success, were brought on board to deliver a custom built pallet handling system that would work within the construction of the Ashton building and help achieve maximum productivity for the new IKEA store.

From the successful installation, the benefits and efficiencies in operation have been realised immediately upon rollout. With faster turnaround times and increased productivity, the Ashton store can deliver up to 100-250 pallets in a six hour shift rather than the normal nine hours, which has resulted in good labour saving benefits for the Ashton store.

The IKEA Group, one of the largest IKEA franchises, has grown into a major retail experience. With over 118,000 co-workers in 40 countries, the IKEA Group has annual sales worth more than 19 billion Euro.

There are 231 IKEA stores in 24 countries stocking everything for home furnishing under one roof. In 2007, 522 million customers visited an IKEA store…
Diamond Phoenix, a market leader in materials handling success, were brought on board to deliver a custom built pallet handling system that would work within the constrictions of the Ashton building and help achieve maximum productivity for the new IKEA store.

Diamond Phoenix commented “The key challenge was to develop a pallet handling system that could work effectively across 3 floors, rather than just one or two. With Ashton’s three storey warehouse facility, a continuous flow of product was required from the ground floor loading area, transporting product up to and across 2 different store levels, returning empty pallets to the ground level.” The system was required to handle a wide range of product sizes which were either pallet or load ledge mounted, the latter of which meant a traditional pallet roller conveyor was not suitable.

With this in mind, Diamond Phoenix developed a custom built pallet handling system that fitted around the constrains of the Ashton building. This included two vertical lifts and a conveyor system based on a robust modular belt design, software and controls to help secure the benefits of economy and simplicity of installation.
From the successful installation, the benefits and efficiencies in operation have been realised immediately upon roll-out. With faster turnaround times and increased productivity, the Ashton store can deliver up to 100-250 pallets in a six hour shift rather than the normal nine hours, which has resulted in good labour saving benefits for the Ashton store.

The Ashton store has now reopened and IKEA continue to enjoy the flexibility of the modular system that allows different sizes and pallet types in the same run. The system is also completely flexible, allowing reconfiguration of the modular belt for future applications.

Ian Foss, UK Logistics Expansion Coordinator at IKEA comments, “From design to installation the process took less than a year, with 32 weeks build time, which was a first for nay IKEA store. The quickest build time ever achieved for IKEA, around the world.”

“Diamond Phoenix were proactive and extremely helpful with their suggestions. The initial training and continued support has exceeded our expectations and we continue to enjoy a good working relationship.”


When the worlds largest online fitness website and sports nutritional supplement e-tailer, US based Bodybuilding.com wanted to work towards a market-leading position in the UK, they demanded fast results!

The issue was a comparatively slow delivery time, due to the use of a European third party warehouse facility based in the Netherlands. The client was aware they required more control over operations in the UK to maintain their worldwide reputation and decided to replicate the successful distribution centre model they operate throughout the US, into a new UK hub with the key aim of providing a next day delivery service.

With a worldwide turnover in excess of $500m, the client required UK expertise. After a rigorous selection process Bodybuilding.com engaged Supply Chain & Logistics specialists, Gideon Hillman Consulting to manage the project. Time was of the essence, so an immediate ‘Core Project Team’ was setup to include Bodybuilding.com Vice President of UK Operations; Associate Director and Managing Director of Gideon Hillman Consulting, plus a Director of Diamond Phoenix, Keith Washington.

Managing Director of Gideon Hillman Consulting outlined “Diamond Phoenix were chosen for their second to none service and industry expertise, which is why we involved Keith on the critical, joint core project team.

With the property secured, racking and shelving designed and ordered, this left the essential experience of Diamond Phoenix to understand the existing Bodybuilding.com US distribution centres and develop the design layout for the tote conveyor system, this would complete the solution within the 42,000 sq. ft. facility.

From initial design to go-live was an industry achievement of just four months, which was testament to the core team fully understanding the client requirements and working to non-negotiable timelines, plus finding a solution that completely delivered on all fronts!

A pedestrian zone pick operation where orders are picked to tote bins from carton live flow rack, static shelving and pallet rack, then taken by pick trolleys and put onto the conveyor to the packing area.

Orders are taken from the totes, packed into Bodybuilding.com branded boxes and conveyed through to the semi-automatic volume fill, close and seal station.

Closed cartons are then transported on ‘Zero Line Pressure’ accumulating conveyor to the goods out despatch area.

A third conveyor returns the empty totes to the picking area to begin the process again.

There were two main goals that needed to be achieved in the project both relating to speed and strength.

The first was speed of installation: Bodybuilding.com knew they needed to react quickly to obtain the market growth in the UK at the right time. Choosing the right partners was part of the strategy to avoid any delays. With the key support and expertise of Diamond phoenix, the project was operationally live in four months.

The second client goal was speed of delivery: Bodybuilding.com customers insist on next-day delivery and this is a core strategy for growth for any UK e-tailer. The Dunstable facility is now capable of processing 10-14K orders per day, from thousands of products, which provides them the strength of continued growth and longevity from the site. The UK fulfilment centre now rivals the speed per sq. ft. of any US hub in the Bodybuilding.com armoury.

In addition the hub also manages the European orders and the solution has reduced EU delivery time by 50%, providing them with further opportunity to gain an important foothold in key European countries.

The facility design maximises short pick distances and minimal pick times, it has the potential to run a 24/7 operation. The pick, pack and despatch capacity is close to 100,000 orders per week and it supports essential stock replenishment, product returns and goods in.
Caroline Underwood, Vice President of Operations, Bodybuilding.com commented “Diamond Phoenix were the right partner with the solution we were looking for to get this fulfilment centre up and running quickly.

Diamond Phoenix Automation is one of the market leaders in the design, integration and installation of innovative material handling and picking solutions.
In response Graham Boner, Managing Director at Diamond Phoenix said “This completed facility is a testament to our ability to be a key player and collaborate with partners to deliver rapid results. The ability to understand client requirements first time is crucial and highlighted in this successful project.”