published on 10/25/2023
After a test phase lasting several weeks, the GoLive took place in October: In the future, the AutoStore system at the Kemnath location will make a significant contribution to optimal space utilization and increased efficiency. Read here how a project of this magnitude could be realized and what advantages the implementation of an automated storage system holds in store.
To condense the warehouse, to increase the efficiency of the processes, especially in order picking, and to be as fail-safe as possible: Based on these objectives, the Kemnath location decided to implement the AutoStore system. The seven-week test phase clearly showed that these goals can be met with an AutoStore. As a result, the system could now go live for customers at the site - with numerous benefits for customers as well as the team in Kemnath.
Optimal utilization of capacities Storing more goods in less space is one of the greater challenges in warehousing. This has been achieved in Kemnath with the AutoStore. In the future, it will replace the previous storage of small parts at the site as a first step. Storage in the AutoStore - a cube-shaped container warehouse - and the associated AutoStore containers can greatly reduce the amount of outer packaging and load carriers. This makes it possible to store more goods in less space and make optimum use of the available area. There is currently space for around 22,000 containers in the AutoStore. In addition, the Kemnath site creates free capacities in the high rack by compacting goods in the AutoStore.
Reduction of provisioning times Not only the warehouse organization can be optimized by using the AutoStore. The processes of storage and outsourcing as well as order picking are also to be accelerated. Since the AutoStore stores the goods by robot according to retrieval frequency and retrieves them to the picker as needed, frequently required goods can be made available to customers with particularly short access times.
IT expertise in integration "Connecting automation technology to existing IT systems is always a special challenge," knows Marcus Wieland, Head of IT Project Management at Simon Hegele and part of the project team from the very beginning. After all, in order for the storage of small parts to function just as smoothly as the real-time mapping of inventory, the automated warehouse must interact with the existing Warehouse Management System HELIS. To achieve this, Simon Hegele IT created the appropriate interfaces between the systems. To ensure that AutoStore users can also operate it as easily as possible and access information transparently, IT also designed a user-friendly and web-based interface.
Efficiency meets user-friendliness and employee relief The user-friendly application, accompanied by appropriate staff training, ensures that employees can use the system as efficiently as possible. On the other hand, the team at the location should be supported as best as possible in their daily work through the use of automation and the associated elimination of picking routes, for example.
Pioneering innovation - also for more sustainability There is no question that warehousing ties up resources. However, automation solutions such as the AutoStore also offer the opportunity to save resources in terms of sustainability. By compacting goods in the warehouse, logistics buildings can be planned more compactly in the long term, which enables energy consumption to be reduced and the area to be sealed to be reduced. It is true that energy is also required to operate the AutoStore. However, if this is put in relation to conventional industrial trucks such as forklifts or ants, both the robots and the ports in the AutoStore operate at a lower energy level. In addition, the site in Kemnath is planning to use automated industrial trucks, which can also make a contribution here.
An interdisciplinary mammoth project The AutoStore was already being considered in Kemnath several years ago. At that time, it was not feasible due to fire protection conditions, but now, in the course of the new building at Hammergrabenstrasse 26, it was possible to include it in the planning from the very beginning. Thus, the interdisciplinary team of Simon Hegele as well as external service providers included more than 30 people from different trades - from construction and operational experts to site management, IT and integration consultants.
This team succeeded in planning the project of this magnitude in the best possible way and transferring it to regular operation. This will now show how the Autostore system performs in terms of the number of stock placements and outsourcing per day, warehouse fill level and inventory turnover rate. If the KPIs are convincing, AutoStore could also find a place in other Simon Hegele logistics centers.
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