Nuremberg/Heshan – Whether Jack Wolfskin, Voelkl, Pearl Izumi, or Jako-o – in the textile trade speed and quality of delivery are of vital importance. One important aspect here is shortening the logistic processes. Here, Top Eagle Garment – with its production sites in the Chinese provinces of Hubei and Guangdong – among other things relies on the concept of store-specific order picking. As such, Top Eagle Garment not only takes care of the production of goods, but acts also as central warehouse for its customers. In the past, textiles were delivered to the customers according to item. Today, the textiles are kept in stock at Top Eagle Garment and then delivered “just in time” and in a store-specific way to the respective stores in Europe, the USA or Japan.
The intralogistics specialist Klinkhammer, headquartered in Nuremberg, was chosen as partner to develop and realize this concept. “In 2010, the first meetings took place. This was followed by an almost two-year phase of intensive planning and realization", explained Frank Klinkhammer, managing director of the Klinkhammer Group. “In the beginning of 2013, the system went live.” Since then, the system has been running perfectly allowing Top Eagle Garment to focus its range of services and supply on the customer needs.
No more intermediate steps
The new intralogistics concept by Klinkhammer has been developed such that Top Eagle Garment with its product range is able to significantly reduce the process times and costs for its customers. Labelling, packaging and shipment to the single stores – everything is controlled by the system of Top Eagle Garment. The customers do not have to maintain storage capacities at their locations. The same applies also to NOS-goods (never-out-of-stock goods). These goods are in stock at Top Eagle Garment. Thanks to the intralogistics system, Top Eagle Garment guarantees that the basic product range is always available in the single stores. Here as well, the advantages for the customer are obvious: Reduced capital commitment, no inventory overhang and time savings.
Perfect complement: a combination of manual and automated processes
Unlike in Western European countries, payroll costs in Asia are comparatively low. Consequently, the manual share in the processes is often higher. This applies also to the system planned by Klinkhammer. From the Top-Eagle Garment production sites in Heshan and Hubei, the textiles are transported on trolleys and in bundles to the new receiving stations. For a clear identification, the textiles are scanned individually and pre-sorted for storage in combs using put-by-light technology. Storage itself then is done with pick mobiles linked via W-LAN also using put-to-light technology.
Also when order picking, the mobile pick solution is of central importance. The order is picked directly into the respective shipping carton. Once the picking process has been initiated, the order picker puts together the goods by order, specific to the store, using the pick mobiles developed by Klinkhammer especially for this purpose. A clear allocation is guaranteed by pick-by-light technology. Following completion of the order picking process for the single stores, the export cardboard boxes are transported to the packing stations, closed and labelled with a customer-specific label including all export-relevant data.
Comprehensive service, pre-acceptance testing and training in Nuremberg
“When planning an intralogistics system in China, you must be aware of the special market requirements. This ranges from planning and export of the machine parts to training and instructing the employees” says Frank Klinkhammer. Acceptance testing of single project steps in a “live system” in the Klinkhammer test center in Nuremberg has proven to be a real advantage. This way, it was possible to present the system and the functional interactions in detail and to carry out a pre-acceptance test and staff training. “Four years ago, we started to realize a vision in joint cooperation with Klinkhammer. We wanted to offer our clients more than just the production of high-quality textiles. Today we are a full-range partner and offer added value to the supply chain to reduce the customer's workload. Together with the Klinkhammer Group (Nuremberg) we realized a highly flexible intralogistics system that allows us to perfectly satisfy the individual customer requirements and shorten the supply processes to a considerable extent” explained Egle who is in charge of the project at Top Eagle Garment.
The most important data and facts about the system:
- 4 incoming goods workplaces with point-of-sale scanners and (optional) hand scanners
- Incoming goods conveyor with variable speed
- Linking of the upper floor and return to the packing station by means of conveyors
- 18 pick mobiles equipped with pick-by-light technology
- 40,000 storage locations for finished goods
- 2 packing stations with scales and printer, conveyors to the shipping hall
- W-LAN equipment of the hall
About Top Eagle Garment
Top Eagle Garment is a manufacturer of so-called "Active Sportswear". Founded 2001 in China, the scope of services and supply has been continuously expanded and investments have been made in modern production capacities. Today, Top Eagle Garment is able to manufacture knitted and woven textiles of high quality at an extremely favorable price – comprehensive service included. With production facilities in China and Thailand Top Eagle Garment supplies products to leading sportswear vendors worldwide.