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, 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 Navette shuttles and nine Navette lifts. The 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 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 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.