Case Study Klingspor

Klingspor, a major regional employer based in Haiger, Germany, has been one of the world's leading manufacturers of high-quality grinding tools for over 120 years. With a product range of more than 50,000 items, the company ships over 200 tonnes of abrasives to 80 countries every day.

External view of the warehouse of Klingspor

Creativity over Three Floors

Klingspor, a major regional employer based in Haiger, Germany, has been one of the world's leading manufacturers of high-quality grinding tools for over 120 years. With a product range of more than 50,000 items, the company ships over 200 tonnes of abrasives to 80 countries every day. The company has thirty-six production and distribution sites around the world to ensure the needs of regional markets are met flexibly. With a heritage of 120 years, it is hardly surprising that Klingspor values the efficiency of its internal logistics processes as much as the development and quality of its products.

Despite space restrictions, SSI SCHAEFER has recently introduced future-proof logistics processes into the Haiger warehouse of abrasives manufacturer, Klingspor, with the installation of a creative, automatic warehousing solution. A SSI Navette shuttle system based on the 3D-MATRIX Solution® and a fully automatic high bay pallet warehouse now guarantee efficient processes and short delivery times.

Klingspor AG, Germany

With an increase in smaller but more frequent order volumes, it became clear to Klingspor that sufficient capacity, fast and faultless processes and a system that could turn orders around within 24 hours, were essential to remain competitive. The fact that the company is on course for at least 5–10% growth per year made this more important. Klingspor's previous warehouse was no longer up to the job. It was time to act.

At the start, it was by no means a given that the new solution would be fully automatic. After all, the company used to rely largely on manual processes based on a pallet rack system, combined with the Pick by Light picking method. But that was set to change when the company extended its existing shipping hall to house a new logistics center. It was an exciting project and yet a challenge too, as the available space was very limited due to the nature of the site. It is no secret that SSI SCHAEFER offers a wide range of efficient storage systems, but this case required an especially creative solution comprised of innovative systems that had to be combined in a tailor-made arrangement.

  • Extension of the storage areas

  • Optimization of internal logistics processes

  • Elimination of unproductive employment percentages

The job included general planning, the steelwork for the racks, as well as the entire rack, conveyor, and picking systems. The project partners cooperated closely to develop the warehouse solution step-by-step. The result was a triple-aisle, double-deep pallet rack system, a multi-level shuttle system for bins, and an intermediate picking and packing zone that ensured optimum use of the available space in the building. Storage-retrieval machines, SSI Navette shuttles and lifts, extensive pallet and bin conveying systems, the control technology for the system, material flow systems, and SAP EWM (Extended Warehouse Management) logistics software complete the solution. The highlight is that the entire system is spread over three levels on approx. 2,400 m², which are all interconnected.

The most striking feature of the intralogistics specialist's solution is the special configuration of the picking and packing zone. This area is on ground level and acts as the connector between the two other warehouse units. An automatic bin area is positioned above and below it, offering more than 36,000 storage locations in total. The shuttle system uses 21 SSI Navette shuttles and nine SSI Navette lifts. The SSI Navette shuttles travel along one driving level on tracks and support rails using the steelwork of the automated miniload system. Two double-deep load handling devices arranged one above the other enable the shuttle to move a total of four loading units simultaneously on two storage levels in a single load cycle. This minimizes travel times and doubles process efficiency. In addition, the SSI Navette lifts ensure bins are delivered quickly from the storage areas to the picking level.

The triple-aisle, double-deep pallet rack system, with approx. 13,400 complete storage locations, is located in the area behind this operation. In this section, three energy-efficient SSI Exyz storage-retrieval machines (SRM) go about their work and serve the storage locations quickly and reliably. A pallet conveying system including a programmable logic controller connects the system, which has a total height of 26 m, to three picking stations and the goods-in and goods-out sections. In 120 flow storage locations, the AAA items are supplied, picked, and connected to the bin area in the automatic pallet system.

Orders comprising palletized goods and goods in the automated miniload system are consolidated completely automatically. The work areas needed for this have all been brought together in the system. They include four multi-order picker workstations and eight packing workstations for high picking performance. The warehouse currently stores 4,500 different items in total. Reliability, zero picking errors, short order throughput times, and high performance – all this despite limited space.

Convincing concept

"We received competing proposals from four storage system manufacturers, but ultimately SSI SCHAEFER submitted the best concept for our requirements and the space constraints. In addition, the intralogistics experts impressed us in the planning phase with fast, variable adjustments to the planned system."

Henning Mankel, Head of Logistics and Production Management at Klingspor


Solution Components

Basis of the concept: 3D-MATRIX Solution®

The fully automatic solution at Klingspor is based on the system concept of the 3D-MATRIX Solution® – ensuring maximum efficiency, flexibility, redundancy, and scalability. In SSI SCHAEFER's winning concept for highly dynamic system solutions, the storage cube is treated as an extendable system, which is open from every side. This design helps avoid the bottlenecks and restrictions that classic system solutions can endure. All movements made by transport devices within the warehouse are consistently separated on x, y, and z-axes and take place simultaneously. This guarantees permanent access to all items, while storage, buffering, and sequencing are possible in a single system.

SAP EWM: Warehouse Management

SAP EWM is used for warehouse management. It goes without saying that it was no easy task to implement the software for such a complex solution. The end-to-end integration of SAP EWM into Klingspor's existing ERP system allowed existing business processes, such as order processing, to remain as they were. The resulting fully automatic warehouse control system is transparent and supported by specially developed dialogs for picking and the stacker control system.

Read more
SAP Recognized Expertise

Finally: Testing

Extensive tests at the end of the start-up phase, alongside excellent collaboration with Klingspor, ensured the initial phase of the project was completed quickly and smoothly. All targets were fully met. The result was a clever solution that met the Klingspor’s logistics requirements and will guarantee them optimum material flow in the future. As a result, the grinding specialist now has a warehouse that is well prepared for the company's future growth and lives up to Klingspor AG's reputation and future expectations

Impressions on the partnership with Klingspor

Klingspor AG, Germany

"Throughout the entire project, SSI SCHAEFER ensured its expert staff were at our side. We had support from project and construction managers, as well as software specialists who were there to help during the planning phase and after the system went live."
Henning Mankel, Head of Logistics and Production Management at Klingspor

Do You Have Questions or Remarks?