The Easy Way to Get Started With Automation

Ostendorf in Emstek efficiently and profitably combines a mobile racking system with automated guided vehicles.

The Path to Semi-Automation

Gebr. Ostendorf Kunststoffe GmbH is one of the leading manufacturers of wastewater pipe systems in Germany. At its Emstek site, Ostendorf faced the challenge of adapting processes to increasingly demanding market conditions. It needed to optimize intralogistics, increase productivity and cut costs. At the same time, Ostendorf entered into an agreement with a major construction industry customer for pre-picking goods onto mixed pallets. That meant that suddenly, there were more packaging materials and pallets that had to be kept on hand and moved around the warehouse. However, it is not easy to recruit qualified staff for the additional work involved, as well as for three-shift operations – especially in the Oldenburg Münsterland region, which enjoys nearly full employment.

For Emstek, relying on full automation would have been excessive. But we still wanted to introduce a certain degree of automation to get the benefits that come with it. In this context, the automated guided vehicles were the appropriate technology and were just right for our comparatively low throughput. We were able to achieve our objectives in less than six months thanks to partial automation.

Ludger Stroot
Operations Manager for Emstek, Ostendorf
Ludger Stroot
Operations Manager for Emstek, Ostendorf

Constant and Resource-Independent Material Flow

Ostendorf chose a partially automated plug-and-play solution from SSI SCHAEFER that could be installed quickly and is ideal specifically for smaller warehouses with moderate throughput rates. The new solution, combining two automated guided vehicles (AGV) with the existing mobile racking system (MRS), handles the storage and retrieval processes and internal transport reliably, offering Ostendorf the advantage of high process reliability around the clock.

With the vehicles used, SSI SCHAEFER not only met Ostendorf’s time target for double cycle use, but actually exceeded expectations; the AGVs complete the double cycles about 30% faster than even required. If even higher performance is required in the future, additional vehicles can be added without difficulty.

In partnership with SSI SCHAEFER, Ostendorf has implemented an impressive partially automated warehouse solution. They automated the existing mobile pallet racking by combining it with the new AGVs and connected both components to the new WAMAS® software. This solution gives Ostendorf an efficient, optimized storage, transport and picking process and strengthens its competitive edge.

A Practical Combination of an MRS, AGVs and Software

SSI SCHAEFER successfully completed this partial automation project together with AGV specialist DS Automotion, an SSI SCHAEFER Group company. In the process, the partners set up an interface to the existing mobile racking system. At the same time, they were responsible for the integration of the AGVs and conveyor system and for the overall integration into Ostendorf’s WAMAS® software environment.

Highlights of the Solution


WAMAS ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­ Software Solutions

Automated Guided Vehicles at SSI Schaefer

Automated Guided Vehicles

Mobile Racking ESX

Mobile pallet racks

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