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f+h Intralogistics 5/2015

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f+h Intralogistics 5/2015

WAREHOUSING The software

WAREHOUSING The software offers an extensive range of standard functions for the management of different types of warehouses. However, when it comes to integrating the system into existing logistics processes, then individual adjustments are inevitable. At Wika this was the case right at the start of the material flow, in goods receiving, says Volker Ahrens, who implemented the adjustments in viadat for Viastore: “The conveyor loop between pick stations, goods receiving and the AS/RS turned out to be a bottleneck in times of high warehouse utilization, so we integrated limiting parameters in viadat. This enables the number of outbound processes and also the number of inbound processes in goods receiving to be adapted to the system performance.” Modifications to the WMS were also required regarding the posting of stocks after picking. Usually the WMS reports the inventory level to the parent ERP system, as soon as the respective container is placed on the conveyor system. At Wika, however, viadat holds back this information and only confirms the inventory level to the host system when the container actually reaches the storage location on the rack (Image 02). “In this way we can still change orders during processing. If the goods were confirmed in the host system beforehand, we would not be able to make any more changes via the ERP system, for example in the event of differences in weight or wrong containers,” explains Grosch. The underlying reason is that at Wika the containers running back to the system are checked once again on scales when they have been placed on the conveyor system at the pick stations. As a result, it can quickly be verified if the correct number of items was retrieved. In the event of an error message, the respective container is diverted and transported back to the pick station. Wolfgang Schindler, Head of IT at Wika, adds another reason for the deferred inventory reporting to the ERP system: “With large piece quantities that require several containers, if feedback was given from there to the host system for every container, we would all of a sudden have a large number of partial deliveries, and thus also several delivery notes.” Further adjustments to the WMS were required to illustrate the processes at Wika. These include an inventory function, where containers are transferred from the warehouse to the conveyor system scales; the printing of certificates and reports for the packed items at the pick stations, the buffering of delivered goods in the warehouse, depending on the available capacity in Quality Assurance; and the supply of production and pick stations with empty containers. Tested on weekends Equally important as the high flexibility of the new software was the actual changeover from the old system to viadat. “With such a project you are more or less performing open heart surgery of a system and replacing it with a new one,” says Müllerschön, pointing up the risks. Therefore, extensive testing is vital. The verification of the interfaces and communication between viadat and the ERP system hardly af- fected the daily business routine at Wika – for the most part, Viastore was able to simulate and check the interplay between host system and WMS at home in Stuttgart. However, this was not an option for the communication between viadat and the conveyor system controls. Therefore, the new system could only be tested using the real PLCs. “So on a number of weekends we connected the existing system with the new WMS and performed tests,” says Ahrens. In this way, Viastore could gradually test the overall system and eliminate errors. “We defined the Sunday prior to going live as a regular work day for the new system. In this way we were able to eliminate errors that still cropped up after going live without our delivery performance suffering,” says Wika Logistics Manager Werner. Viastore had involved several Wika key users in the project phase, who were on hand now to help their colleagues. Photos: Viastore MULTIMEDIA CONTENT Internal video: learn more about the achievement spectrum of the enterprise 02 When the host is not accessible, delivery notes can also be printed with viadat 44 f+h Intralogistics 5/2015

RUBRIZIERUNGSEBEBE 2 I RUBRIZIERUNGSEBENE SOME THINK DELIVERY ERRORS ARE INEVITABLE. WE THINK DIFFERENT. Running an efficient distribution centre makes a big difference to profitability and customer satisfaction. That’s why many leading brands put sortation systems from BEUMER and Crisplant at the heart of their supply chain. Through operational insight and analysis, BEUMER Group is able to deliver complete automated material handling systems that fit seamlessly into your process. Offering exceptional speed, capacity and accuracy, our technology makes a difference to your customers, your brand and your bottom line. For more information, visit f+h Intralogistics 3/2015 45


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