The European headquarters of TTI Inc., a company of the Berkshire Hathaway Group with around 100 branch offices worldwide, is located in Maisach near Munich. From this center, featuring currently a storage space of already 25,000 m2, TTI provides 11,000 European customers with around 250,000 different passive components, plug-type connectors and electromechanical components. Round about 100,000 articles of the product range are permanently available in stock.
WMS and material flow computer – the brainpower of the automated distribution center
The company focuses on sophisticated systems for supply chain management and international warehouse control to supply its customers worldwide with components just in time. TTI Inc. entrusted the Klinkhammer Group, because of Klinkhammer’s great deal of experience, with the project to equip the various warehouse systems with a uniform control technique and with Klinkhammer’s superset Warehouse Management System. The benefits are clearly visible: The warehousing systems of various manufacturers are connected by means of uniform control systems, linked via IT interfaces and controlled by means of a central material flow computer to optimize the necessary performance and efficiency of the overall system. The conveyors in the new distribution center have been designed such to meet peaks of 1,400 totes per hour such that up to 22,000 parcels per day will reach the shipping department.
Automation, reorganization and an extension building with 17,000 m2
“Due to the strong growth and raising customer requirements the distribution warehouse used so far reaches its limits of performance and capacity. Therefore, many areas of the existing logistics site in Maisach are going to be automated, reorganized, restructured and extended by a new, additional building featuring around 15,000 m2”, explains Thomas Rolle, Vice President of TTI.
The intralogistics specialist Klinkhammer supplies the intelligence for this project. The modular structure of the WMS software including material flow controller, the uniform control system KlinCONTROL® as well as the intelligent visualization system KlinkVISION® guarantee highest availability and transparency of the entire system. Additionally, Klinkhammer offers hotline, remote maintenance and on-call services as well as spare parts supply. Where formerly an on-site assistance in the warehouse was required, today many service activities can be performed via remote maintenance by means of KlinkVISION® to quickly identify and remedy irregularities. Sensors supply data on the status of the systems which can be analysed together with error messages and statistics thanks to the experiences of Klinkhammer gathered from a large number of automated warehouses. “We take over the digital intelligence of material flow control to ensure the requested performance and availability of the highly-complex overall system”, explains Hagen Schumann, authorized representative and head of sales of the Klinkhammer Group.
The cardboard boxes of various sizes and weights supplied on pallets are repacked into totes and stored in one of the biggest autostore warehouses. In the second expansion stage, the autostore warehouse that perfectly fits into the height of the new building will be equipped with 110 vehicles and with around 220,000 tote storage locations. Connected to this section, there are around 50 order picking work stations with put-to-light to increase the order picking quality. A 28-aisle, manual storage system with around 30,000 pallet storage locations is also connected to the warehouse management software like a lift storage and a 2-aisle shuttle storage with level-bound shuttles and around 11,000 tote storage locations. The shuttle storage serves as order consolidation buffer and is connected to two levels with packing stations. In the future, there will be available 70 packaging stations to fulfil the high requirements as to delivery capability and supplier reliability.
The Klinkhammer Warehouse Management System reads out the article master data, the storage and transport containers with their destinations from the ERP system which simultaneously acts as cross-location warehouse control system and monitors tracking and availability of all products in all warehouses at any time. The totes coming from the autostore order picking are notified via an interface to the Klinkhammer material flow computer and then put into interim storage in the automatic small parts warehouse shuttle storage section for order consolidation. The transport of the totes to the designated packing station is ensured by exchanging data between the system controllers and the Klinkhammer material flow computer. The material flow computer informs also about the number of totes per order and about the site of those goods that cannot be put into totes.
Data and Facts:
- Klinkhammer control system KlinCONTROL® and system visualization KlinkVISION®
- Klinkhammer Warehouse Management Software
- 2,150 conveyor drives
- 70 packing stations
- Autostore warehouse for around 220,000 totes in the final expansion stage
- Automatic small parts warehouse as shuttle storage, around 11,000 tote storage locations
- Forklift-served pallet storage system: 30,000 pallet storage locations