Piolax Opens New Automated Warehouse in Canton
Piolax, a leading supplier of plastics and metal fastening products and technology around the globe, has opened the first fully-automated warehouse in Cherokee County.
The company has operated at the Canton location in the Canton Cherokee Industrial Park for 28 years and the new 90,000-square-foot automated facility will house room for about 5,600 pallets and many new employees.
U.S. President of Piolax Gene Ishakawa said their parent company Piolax Inc. was founded in 1933 in Japan with eight domestic facilities and nine overseas facilities.
Piolax Inc. employs about 3,000 and the company’s revenue has hit a grand total of about $640 million, Ishakawa said at the grand opening ceremony Friday.
“We have operated here in Canton now for 28 years with much success,” he said. “The tremendous increase in orders has promoted us to open a new warehouse on these grounds.”
Ishakawa said capacity and safety are two of Piolax’s top priorities when opening the new facility.
“Compared to previous warehouses, the capacity will increase in load from 3,200 pallet locations to 5,682 pallet locations, which is 1.8 times more,” he said. “By moving to an operated warehouse, we are planning to deduce more than half of our current forklifts, which will increase the safety of the plant and warehouse.”
Senior Vice President of Piolax Kevin Holcomb said he remembered several years ago when he first heard the idea of an automated warehouse in Canton.
“As we have heard many times here at Piolax, ‘a goal without a plan is just a wish.’ Since 2010, (Piolax) sales have increased by more than 220 percent. This year alone (Piolax) expects to ship 1.9 billion pieces from this location,” Holcomb said.
The expansion is primarily for warehousing and distribution but will also include production space and an expanded office, Holcomb said.
“The warehouse is a 60-foot-high automated storage and retrieval system that contains more than 5,600 pallet locations. We have nine loading dock doors to accommodate the shipping and receiving and the flow of truck traffic is one way from a new entrance,” he said.
The Canton Piolax customer service team will be transferred to the new offices at the automated warehouse so that Piolax can quickly react to their customers’ demands, Holcomb said.
“In order to reach any dream it takes great effort and planning and perseverance to see it to completion,” he said. “We have an awesome staff, professional contractors and tremendous governments that have brought us to this point today.”
City of Canton Mayor Gene Hobgood said seeing Canton and Cherokee County’s communities grow and prosper is one of the most exciting parts of being mayor.
“I would like to thank Piolax for being a good business partner to the city of Canton and Cherokee County. They have done a phenomenal job and we would love to have a ton of businesses just like this,” he said. “This type of business and the partnership that we have with them is what makes the city of Canton and Cherokee County have the best quality of life that we can possibly have.”
Cherokee County Office of Economic Development president Misti Martin said the new facility took vision and a great deal of planning and patience, but the addition will bring even more efficiencies to Piolax’s operations.
“The automatic warehouse is the first of its kind in our community, showing Piolax’s leadership in the manufacturing arena,” she said. “For almost 30 years you have been a model corporate citizen and a quality employer for hundreds of our residents. Your investment in the Canton campus has grown over time and we have been thrilled to assist in that growth.”
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