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Göpfert relies on multi-level shuttle of Klinkhammer

Nuremberg (08/2020) – Göpfert Maschinen GmbH, the world’s leading manufacturer of machines for the processing of corrugated cardboard, extends its warehouse by an automated shuttle warehouse with KlinCAT multi-level shuttles and a conveyor platform. The aim is increased performance and compaction of the storage area.

Göpfert, a third generation family business operating worldwide was founded in 1950. Special machines for the printing and punching of corrugated cardboard packaging are designed and produced in Wiesentheid in Franconia. Göpfert delivers worldwide and is known as a premium manufacturer for high-quality and individually tailored systems. The average lifespan of a „Göpfert“ is 30 years.

Already in 2016, the company’s growth required rethinking of the storage for the assembly line and spare parts supply. Together with the intralogistics specialist Klinkhammer, manual processes were replaced by automated warehouses and voucherless order picking. An automated container and pallet warehouse with shared pre-zone and combined order picking workstations then ensured an optimal material flow. Due to the high annual sales growth in the double-digit percentage range, performance-enhancing automation has now been considered again. Forward-looking planning has now enabled the realization of an extension in direct connection to the automated warehouses. The decision was made in favor of a modern multi-level shuttle warehouse KlinCAT, which combines the advantages of an automated storage and retrieval crane with those of a shuttle. 

Hybrid between automated storage and retrieval crane and conventional shuttle
The rail-bound multi-level shuttle warehouse has a length of 60 meters and is equipped with three KlinCAT shuttles including three maintenance platforms. Each shuttle has a lifting function and is able to reach 7 container levels. Thus, the shuttle warehouse is tailored to the throughput required by Göpfert and the individual article structure. With a racking height of 7.8 m, the 1-aisle shuttle warehouse provides storage space for 6,720 container storage locations. The storage and retrieval performance of the multi-level shuttle system is significantly higher compared to conventional small-parts warehouses with automated storage and retrieval cranes. With approximately the same footprint, the 1-aisle multi-level shuttle warehouse has about three times the performance of the existing 1-aisle automated small-parts warehouse. Thus, KlinkCAT is a hybrid between an automated storage and retrieval crane and a one-level shuttle, closing the gap between the performance of an automated storage and retrieval crane of about 120 double cycles and the conventional shuttle solution with a capacity of up to 1,000 double cycles per aisle and hour.

„KlinCAT has immediately convinced us and the decisions were taken very quickly“, explains Daniel Achtmann, head of logistics and purchasing at Göpfert. „After viewing the shuttle system in December 2018, the order was already placed in January 2019 and commissioning took place in November. Thanks to the additional performance and the newly gained storage capacity, we are well equipped for our further growth”.

Space-saving platform construction for the conveyor technology 
A high-performance lifter serves as a connection between the conveyor technology and the shuttle warehouse. The storage and retrieval lanes of the shuttle warehouse are located on the platform and connect the warehouse with the existing system and the 3 order picking and goods receiving workstations. The workstations and conveyor technology were connected with three double vertical conveyors. As a result, the conveyor technology is already designed for a further expansion stage with 800 storages and 800 retrievals. In order to be able to connect the two new system parts, two pallet order picking and buffer stations had to be relocated and existing container conveyor technology in the order picking area had to be dismantled. The new order picking workstations are designed such that goods from containers and pallets can be picked simultaneously. If required, the source pallet is lowered by lifting tables to enable an ergonomic access. The maintenance-friendly shuttle warehouse has a separate aisle access on each level. Thus, the other two levels can continue to be used during service work on one level.

High storage capacity due to flexible container division
A large number of different components is needed in the production of printing, creasing and cutting machines to produce corrugated cardboard packaging. A special feature of the automated storage is the flexible container division, providing many advantages, particularly for small parts such as screws or semi-finished products. Depending on the size of the goods to be stored, one container can be divided into up to 16 different compartments, thereby condensing the available storage space and multiplying the storage capacity. The precise division of the storage containers is visualized in the warehouse management software, supporting the order picker in his work. 

Digital networking of the processes – it depends on the software
Because of the diverse range of articles of varying weight and size, the warehouse management software of Klinkhammer integrates different storage areas, from the automated shuttle, small-parts and pallet storage to the manual block, lift and shelf storage up to the cantilever storage for bulky goods. In total, 32,000 articles, from the screw to the roller weighing up to 5 tons, are stored at Göpfert. 25,000 articles thereof are stored in the three automated storage systems. Manual storage is supported by a stacker control system and hand-held terminals.Production, with 8 assembly line storage areas and 15 pre-assembly areas, is also connected to the software and the stacker control system. The aim was to store as many goods as possible in the automated storage systems, because the goods are delivered directly to the order picking stations according to the “goods-to-person” principle, accelerating the material flow. At the same time, goods receipt and the inspection of incoming goods from external manufacturers as well as shipping of new and spare parts are integrated into the material flow and digitally networked. The visualization system KlinkVISION offers transparency in the warehouse and enables a quick alarm diagnosis due to its detailed views down to the sensor and drive level. Thanks to an intelligent material flow concept with an optimized arrangement of the conveyor technology, a compact, high-performance solution providing options for a further expansion was realized.

Data and facts

  • 1-aisle, double-deep shuttle warehouse with 3 KlinCAT multi-level shuttles and 6,720 container storage locations
  • 3 order picking and goods receipt stations
  • 1-aisle automated small-parts warehouse with 8,316 container storage locations
  • 1-aisle automated pallet high-bay warehouse with 1,708 storage locations
  • The Klinkhammer warehouse management system KlinkWARE integrates all automated and manual warehouses as well as 8 assembly line storage areas and 15 pre-assembly areas connected by a stacker control system.
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