TCI Group

handling of SMD reels in production

TCI Group has been one of the leading electronic component producers worldwide for more than 30 years, focusing on design and realization of innovative electronic systems. All products are made in accordance with the highest international safety and reliability regulations. The company covers a wide range of products within the field of lighting, such as electronic and electromagnetic ballasts, ignitors, LED modules and power supplies, electronic transformers, emergency kits and electronic systems for lighting control. TCI covers a total area of 38,000 square meters, including warehouses and production units. The head office is in Saronno Varese, Italy.

Task definition

The customer needed ordered and clean storage of about 500,000 reels of SMD components for the 15 production lines necessary for their wide range of products. Until then, these reels had been kept in traditional static shelving. The production is divided into two shifts, and the related operations (storage, picking, and return of the SMD reels) are handled by the manager and the 28 operators that run the setup of the assembly lines.


To ensure maximum fl exibility of confi guration and space allocation, the choice solution was a VLM storage system from Kardex Remstar. Two Shuttle XP 250 units, ESD version, were installed, making optimum use of the ceiling height. In combination with high-density storage, a reduction of over 60 % of warehouse fl oor space was achieved. A third unit enables a significant increase in capacity, designed to meet the growing needs of production. The automated storage system is managed by Kardex Remstar Power Pick Global software that allows perfect traceability of the material flow and accurate control of stock levels, combined with fast access to all components used for the production of the circuits. All material is stored safely, and protected from dust. In addition, the FIFO principle was introduced to avoid material aging of sensitive components and to reduce partially used SMD reels, thus minimizing waste and handling time. By interfacing with the existing management system it was possible to align assembly line setup operations and the required SMD reels necessary during production.

Process description

We would be delighted to explain the different processes in detail in a personal consultation.

Advantage at a glance

  • Over 60 % warehouse space reduction (from 48 m2 to 16 m2)
  • Goods stored in an ordered, clean, and dust-free way
  • Increased productivity (1,100 daily operations with the same number of operators)
  • Max. traceability of the components
  • Complete just-in-time stock control

Scope of delivery

  • 3 Shuttle XP 250 (W x D x H: 2,780 x 2,921 x 6,050 mm)
  • 183 trays 2,450 x 813 mm with ESD protection
  • VARIO position indicator with 2-digit displays
  • Transport cart
  • Kardex Remstar Power Pick Global software linked to the customer’s management system