Three automated storage systems intelligently linked

Nuremberg/Hermaringen (01/2020) – At the company headquarters in Hermaringen in Baden-Wuerttemberg, Hauff, together with the intralogistics specialist Klinkhammer, will build a new automated logistics center, connected to the existing production area. The combination of 2 automated storage systems for containers and palletized goods and the automated order consolidation buffer will streamline material flows at high storage density.

Hauff-Technik GmbH & Co. KG, one of the leading European manufacturers of sealing systems for cables, pipes and house connections, protects buildings from penetrating water, gas, fire, dirt and vermin. The customers of Hauff include energy suppliers, municipal utilities, construction and telecommunications companies and also the industry. Architects, planners and private developers as well rely on the experience in cable and pipe seals. 

From narrow-aisle forklift trucks to full automatization
In close planning cooperation between Hauff and Klinkhammer, a forward-looking, flexible and expandable logistics concept for small parts and palletized goods has been developed, based on detailed growth scenarios and projections. Throughput, delivery performance and capacity should be adapted to the increasing order volume and the strong growth of the construction industry. Changing from manual, paper-oriented storage with narrow-aisle forklift trucks to full automatization, Hauff is setting a new milestone for its future logistics. The goods-to-man principle shall make processes more efficient, faster and easier. The new building will be built next to the existing production building and can be connected by lifts and a conveyor bridge for pallets and containers in a second expansion stage.

Detailed data and process analysis
„We will invest into the strategic development of Hauff in the coming years as well”, elaborates Thomas Kölle, authorized officer and head of materials management. „We are strengthening our core business by automating our logistics and we are opening up new business areas by offering additional services. We were convinced by the detailed data and process analysis as well as the planning concept of Klinkhammer, which is tailored to the requirements of Hauff due to the open, constructive cooperation.“ All involved parties and levels have been included in the planning process at an early stage. The advantages of the automated pallet high-bay warehouse have clearly outweighed the originally planned, conventional forklift-managed warehouse.

Three automated storage systems are linked by conveyors as well as digitally such that large and small parts are efficiently picked and packed to optimize shipping costs. The larger goods are stored by pallet conveyors in the two-aisle silo high-bay warehouse for pallets. Articles which are separated in the incoming goods area from pallets, lattice boxes or cartons into containers are stored in an automated small-parts warehouse which is also equipped with 2 aisles. After identification and booking in the warehouse management system, cross-docking goods can be transported directly to one of the nine loading gates for delivery to the customer. 

Order consolidation buffer for temporary storage, order consolidation and production supply
The approx. 12 m high automated order consolidation buffer uses a centrally located system with lifting beam AS/RS to store picked orders temporarily for shipping, to consolidate an order from different containers or to supply goods for production orders. When all containers belonging to an order have arrived in the order consolidation buffer, the order is transported to the next available packing station. There, the employee checks whether goods from the high-bay warehouse are added or the carton is consolidated into a pallet order. Each order picking station is equipped with sufficient buffer locations. Thus, a backlog on the main conveyor line is prevented and uninterrupted work is ensured. When the containers are placed onto the conveyors, they undergo an overweight and height control and, if necessary, are sorted out. Pallets are checked for overweight, contour and free space for forks. Non-compliant loading aids will be returned to the goods receipt area for rework.

Camera technology and system visualization
Camera technology on load handling devices offers more transparency in the warehouse, provides a view into the storage bay and ensures faster and optimized troubleshooting. The material flow computer of Klinkhammer controls the automated storage areas including storage location management as well as the conveyor technology and offers an interface to the software SAP S4Hana. The system visualization KlinkVISION illustrates all target data and the status of the load handling devices at the locations. All operating and error messages of the system are recorded, visualized and logged, thereby minimizing downtimes and providing a fast alarm diagnosis in the warehouse. In the test mode, transport orders are available via system visualization as well. 

Flexible expansion options already planned 
During the intensive and detailed planning phase, the overall concept has already been designed for further growth and a higher degree of automation. Corresponding areas for the future extension of the automated warehouses, the packing and order picking stations as well as the conveyor connection to the existing production have already been anticipated and are expandable. The building and the logistics system are scheduled to be completed in autumn 2020.

Data and facts

  •  2-aisle, automated pallet high-bay warehouse with 4,900 storage locations
  •  2-aisle, automated small-parts warehouse for 8,120 containers
  •  Automated order consolidation buffer for production and dispatch
  •  Order picking in the pre-zone of the small-parts warehouse
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