SSI SCHAEFER is providing a reliable foundation for an efficient logistics operation for the spare parts specialist bilstein group, with a steel structure from its own production line to create an automated miniload system and racking installations.
The bilstein group, based in Ennepetal, Germany, is investing in an additional logistics center at its Gelsenkirchen site in order to ensure the global availability of its products and services, both now and in the future. The leading specialist in the independent aftermarket for passenger cars and commercial vehicles is once again counting on the manufacturing expertise of the reliable partner and intralogistics expert, SSI SCHAEFER, for the construction of this in-house steel structure for manual and fully automatic systems.
The bilstein group, now in the seventh generation of family ownership, is headquartered in the town of Ennepetal in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia and brings together the brands of febi, SWAG, and Blue Print under one roof. The company supplies wholesalers and repair shops with more than 60,000 different spare parts and repair kits, helping to keep drivers of cars and commercial vehicles around the world moving. “Our industry is constantly changing,” says Felix Wortmann, Project Manager at the bilstein group.
“The new structure in Gelsenkirchen will help us to significantly increase our logistics capacities, something which is particularly important as we develop our company to be fit for the future. This second, fully automatic German logistics center will help make us even more customer friendly and enable us to continue to reliably supply our quality products to wholesalers.”
Alongside the high availability of their range of products, another objective of this project was to achieve reliable and rapid order processing using sophisticated technologies. When it came to awarding the contract for the in-house steel structure for the various manually operated racking installations and the fully automated miniload system, the bilstein group once again opted in favor of SSI SCHAEFER, the world’s leading provider of warehouse and logistics systems.
It has been full steam ahead with the installation work at Gelsenkirchen since August 2020. As intralogistics specialists, SSI SCHAEFER were directly contracted by the bilstein group and are responsible for manufacturing and installing the steel structure for the automated miniload system, a mobile rack system, a wide-aisle warehouse, a pallet flow rack, and a bin conveying system platform. “Manufacturing expertise is extremely important when it comes to steel structures, as these form the basic framework for an efficient intralogistics system,” emphasizes Vanessa Henrich, Head of Product Management, Product Line Steelwork High Bay Warehouse, at SSI SCHAEFER.
“Helping to ensure a project runs smoothly is not just about complying with the relevant standards and legal requirements. When paving the way for future expansions, it’s also important to take additional aspects into account at an early stage, such as optimal usage of the hall space and a high degree of scalability.”
Given the ambitious schedule leading up to commissioning, there was also a need for fast communication. In this situation, SSI SCHAEFER acts a central contact for the large part of the steel structure, supplying all the components required from a single source; having fewer points of contact saves time and costs. “We have worked on projects with SSI SCHAEFER before and have found them to be a strong and reliable partner who think in the long term and work with us as equals,” adds Felix Wortmann. These factors are important, as the ultimate aim is to remain competitive in a dynamic sector.
So far, the project has not suffered any interruptions to the implementation of the tightly scheduled level plan due to the coronavirus pandemic. Together with the planner and SAP EWM general contractor responsible for the planning, development, and implementation of the overall intralogistics, all the partners are working hand in hand to achieve the goal of starting operations at the new logistics center by mid-2022. As Vanessa Henrich puts it, the steel structure will then act as the foundation or a type of “racetrack” on which the other intralogistics components will later safely and quickly carry out the warehousing and transportation tasks assigned to them, and will help to ensure the bilstein group’s delivery capabilities
Felix Wortmann, overall Project Manager for the new structure for the bilstein group in Gelsenkirchen.
The bilstein group is once again counting on SSI SCHAEFER for the intralogistics steel structure for the new logistics center: “We have worked on projects with SSI SCHAEFER before and have found them to be a strong and reliable partner who think in the long term and work with us as equals,” explains Felix Wortmann, Project Manager for the new structure for the bilstein group.