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f+h Intralogistics 4/2015

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f+h Intralogistics 4/2015

MATERIAL FLOW Tugger

MATERIAL FLOW Tugger train solution from SSI Schaefer for a factory without forklifts The Brose Group, the world’s fifth-largest family-owned automotive supplier, chose SSI Schaefer as partner for building their new logistics center in Ostrava, Czech Republic. The general contractor provided a material flow concept for a highly-dynamic production supply supported by a tailor-made SAP Extended Warehouse Management (SAP EWM). ware and software infrastructure from a single source,” comments the Brose Project Coordinator. “Through internal coordination of the phases of implementation, SSI Schaefer was able to comprehensively design and complete the project on time, despite a tight schedule.” The family-owned automotive supplier invests around 10 percent of the company’s revenue every year in developing new products and processes. Numerous awards highlight the innovative spirit of the familyowned company that produces mechatronic components and systems for vehicle doors, seats and bodies, with around 23,000 employees at 57 sites in 23 countries across the globe. When it comes to optimizing processes, from time to time, the company calls upon proven field and industry experts from science and industry; and this was precisely what it did when optimizing intralogistics and production supply in Kopřivnice. “The fully automated loading of tugger trains and the supply of production materials are completely integrated and controlled from the SAP EWM,” explains Claudia Vogel-Daniel, Project Coordinator at the Brose Fahrzeugteile GmbH & Co. KG, Coburg. The material flow concept and process efficiency implemented at the new distribution center, which opened at the end of 2014 to supply the production site Ostrava in Kopřivnice in the North East of the Czech Republic, has convinced the manager. “What we started in 2010 as a streamlining project, is now culminating into a system that is a point of reference in terms of logistics, featuring countless innovations that take us above and beyond the industry standard.” The site was established in 2004 and is the Brose Group’s second largest production facility. “Due to new vehicle models, more customers, and new developments, the product range we supply is ever widening. Just a few years after opening for business, storage capacities were already scarce due to the stable growth; we had to rent external warehouses and tackle complex supply structures along with the increased administrative and financial outputs this incurs,” explains Vogel-Daniel. In 2010, the company decided to restructure the logistics and production supply chain. Concentrating the storage capacities at the production site had to reduce the costs of transport and external storage, streamline the material flow, optimize the processes in production supply and increase performance. The project was to be implemented in a modern logistics plant on company premises. Together with the Technische Universität München and with feedback from industry experts, Brose created specification requirements for the new facility. The contract to carry out a highly automated inhouse logistics solution was awarded to SSI Schaefer, as the general contractor in the area of material and information flow. “The intralogistics specialists excelled by providing a consistent concept with flexibility allowing us to implement the hard- Fully automated intralogistics processes Brose sought to establish a factory without forklifts for the distribution center. Tugger trains were to take on production supply and the intralogistics processes were to be fully automated, including the loading of the tugger trains. The management of the warehouse and the inventory, as well as the process and system control, was also to be transferred into a newly created and custom-made SAP EWM that had to be integrated into the existing SAP infrastructure. “All processes are designed for maximum reliability. The slightest fault would cause production to fail and would have major consequences on Brose’s stock availability,” 26 f+h Intralogistics 4/2015

MATERIAL FLOW 01 The high-bay warehouse with 9,750 pallet storage locations and five type “Exyz” single-mast storage and retrieval machines serves Brose as a replenishment buffer warehouse explains Tino Grosse, SSI Schaefer Project Manager. To expand capacity and for the new intralogistics processes, SSI Schaefer first created a new, five-aisle high-bay warehouse with 9,750 pallet storage locations for singledepth storage (Image 01). Five single-mast “Exyz” automated storage and retrieval machines, equipped with single-depth telescope load handling units, ensure energyefficient storage and retrieval. With a travel speed of 180 m/min and a lifting speed of 48 m/min, they achieve an overall handling performance of 200 double cycles per hour. The high-bay warehouse functions as a replenishment buffer warehouse and is connected to an existing building via a bridge. The goods-in warehouse zone, the conveying system and processing stations as well as an automated miniload are housed in this building. In the seven-aisle miniload, 23,520 totes with an individual weight of up to 15 kg can be stored at single or double depth. The seven storage and retrieval machines used from the proven Schaefer Miniload Crane (SMC 1) range are equipped with box gripper load handling units and achieve a turnover of 840 totes per hour. At the front end of the miniload, there are also four stations. The totes for production supply can be loaded here. On the long side, next to the miniload, there are also tugger train stations for the loading of full pallets for production. The material flows are as follows: the goods-in (already on pallets) from around 30 external parts suppliers are checked at the goods acceptance point. Here they are accepted and then handed over to the pallet conveying system at one of four transfer points. This takes the pallets via a vertical conveyor to a staging level and from there via a bridge to the high-bay warehouse. To populate the miniload, the pallets are retrieved from stock and brought to the ground floor via bridges and a lift, where they are transferred to a transfer carriage. The SAP EWM reports on what is required based on recent stock data and consumption. The transfer carriage distributes the replenishment pallets to different packing locations according to instructions from the SAP EWM. The majority of inbound deliveries arrive on pallets with system totes. However, bulk goods or individual articles for automated handing in the miniload have to be repacked into totes. Packing of the tote pallets is carried out automatically. First, the transfer carriage conveys the pallets to a robot cell. There an articulated arm robot takes over the fully automated depalletization. It places the totes individually on the tote conveying system where they are then transported to the miniload. “Teaching the robots was a challenge in itself, as there are four different types of totes,” says Grosse. As a solution, modern image recognition was linked to the device control and SAP EWM. The depalletizing robot unpacks the pallets. A camera system then records and analyzes the tote type and the position and determines an approach mode for the gripper. To be able to perform such actions, the robot is equipped with a special gripper finger system. Special perforations in the totes ensure a reliable grip. Source pallets with bulk goods or small parts that are not delivered in system totes are transported by the transfer carriage to six manual repacking stations (Image 02). Material flow concept with unique SAP EWM functions To enable seamless integration and avoid additional interfaces, an external tool for planning the demanding route logic was not used. Instead, a comprehensive plan- f+h Intralogistics 4/2015 27

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