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Kuehne+Nagel commissions Klinkhammer with warehouse automation

Nuremberg - Hamburg, 01.02.2023: With over 80,000 employees at almost 1,300 locations in more than 100 countries, the Kuehne+Nagel Group is one of the world's leading logistics companies. Its strong market position lies in the areas of sea freight, air freight, overland transport and contract logistics, with a clear focus on integrated logistics solutions. A logistics centre with automated warehouse technology is to be built at the Mülheim-Kärlich site near Koblenz. The intralogistics system integrator Klinkhammer was awarded the contract for an Exotec system with warehouse robots for the storage of small parts, a level-bound shuttle system as an order consolidation buffer and the conveyor connection from goods receipt to dispatch.

Kuehne+Nagel relies on the latest technology in contract logistics to make the logistics process as simple and transparent as possible for customers. "The Skypod system convinced us because it is extremely scalable in terms of capacity and performance and ideally reflects our high requirements for performance and system availability," explains Tobias Schwettmann, Team Lead Technical Solutions at Kühne+Nagel AG & Co. KG. "Klinkhammer offers the system integration of such innovative systems and is thus a good partner to develop and implement custom-fit concepts for our customers' warehouse logistics together with us."

For Kuehne+Nagel, the flexibility of the system was particularly important, as order-dependent fluctuations and growth phases are easy to solve. In the Skypod system, with over 50,000 container storage locations, the robots take over two functions: On the one hand, storage and retrieval in the racking, and on the other hand, delivery of the multi-partitioned bins to the picking stations. The system can be expanded easily and almost without interruption by adding additional Skypod robots, further picking stations or racking blocks. Up to four order bins can be delivered to the picking stations. This enables multi-order picking, where several order bins can be filled with one item at the same time. A Pick-By-Light indicates to the employee which bin compartment has to be picked from. A Put-To-Light system shows the order picker in which bin he has to place the picked goods.

The Exotec warehouse is connected to a double-deep, single-aisle shuttle system with 2 lifters via a high-performance conveyor system. This serves as an order consolidation buffer for orders consisting of several bins from separate picking areas. Each of the 18 levels has its own shuttle, eliminating shuttle roaming and maximising performance. Within the shuttle system, the bins of the multi-bin orders are collected until the order is complete and then transported to the packing station. At the same time, the shuttle system serves as empty container storage to compensate for fluctuations in capacity utilisation between order picking and packing. The packing area with 30 workstations divides the flow of goods into large orders and parcel orders. A shipping sorter is used to distribute the packed parcels to the various transport service providers, and it discharges the parcels to the correct truck gate.

As a link between the warehouse management system and the control technology of the facilities, a material flow control system is installed that can be flexibly and individually adapted to logistical processes. The KlinkVISION visualisation system enables fast alarm diagnosis in the warehouse and minimises downtimes. The system is displayed in dynamic overviews and shows the current status of the system areas down to sensor level. After completion of the system integration, Klinkhammer will be available to the customer as a hotline, service and maintenance partner during live operation. The logistics centre is scheduled to go into operation in the first quarter of 2024.

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