WAREHOUSING System competence from viastore ensures faster shipment The processes at Alcar‘s new central warehouse that include different pallet sizes, the picking of pallets on to pallets, small orders, and bulk deliveries are running smoothly. The systems integrator, viastore, had to take a few special features into consideration during implementation. “At the outset, we really only knew that we needed a fully automated central warehouse,” explains Klaus-René Küfer, the Managing Director of Alcar Leichtmetallräder GmbH, headquartered in Siegburg, Germany. This realization was triggered by increased delivery pressure and the positive business development of Alcar. The company manufacturers around two million aluminum wheels and rims per year, of which around 1.2 million are produced in Neuen- rade about five kilometers from the new central warehouse in Balve. The plan was to then supply the Alcar sales companies and general importers with goods from the Balve site. Alcar already owned a manually operated central warehouse in the vicinity of Osnabrück, but due to continuously increasing production and sales output it no longer had sufficient capacity. A second central warehouse at the Balve site was designed to combat increasing delivery pressure. “We conduct most of our business during two short periods in the spring and autumn. Generally, we then only have 48 hours to deliver the wheels to our customers. Anything that we do not deliver during these seasonal peaks can be classed as lost business,” explains the Managing Director. He expected that a fully automated warehouse would ensure efficient picking and provision of shipment pallets, processes that took up a lot of time and space in the manual warehouses. “However, we did not have any experience with a fully automated system. We only had a clear idea of what we store in our warehouses, how many trucks deliver and collect products, and that we required an efficient picking process,” says Küfer explaining the specifications provided by Alcar.
WAREHOUSING About viastore systems viastore systems, headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany, is an international leader in the supply of turnkey automatic intralogistics systems, WMS, SAP logistics solutions, material flow and process control, as well as shuttle and automated storage/retrieval systems. With a workforce of 450, the company registered a turnover in 2014 of 120 million euro. The system integrator has local business units in Brazil, China, France, Russia, Spain, the Czech Republic, the USA and elsewhere around the world. 01 Six-aisle shelving system for 17,240 pallets One-stop solution Alcar was looking for a partner who could design, plan, and build the warehouse and who also had a high level of expertise in the fields of system installation and software. A warehouse management system that could exchange data with the existing M3 goods management system from Infor was required. As the prime contractor, the supplier would also complete any building work, including the base plate, roof, walls, and sprinkler system. Alcar found that “We completed an analysis and then created our first concept that included an initial material flow diagram and an appropriate layout. These were refined further during joint discussions,” explains Wolfgang König, Project Manager at viastore. It took around two years for the final plan to be drawn up from the initial designs. “If, like us, you have no experience with such a project and the final investment sum amounts to Euro 13 million it is not something that you rush into,” emphasizes Küfer. The final design was a six-aisle silo highbay warehouse with a height of 23 m and an aisle length of 87 m (Fig. 01). The ground conditions proved a particular challenge. Küfer explains: “As we are based on a Karst landscape without defined rock layers, the base plate had to be placed on bored piles. However, we only discovered during the building project that there is a considerable amount of erosion within the rock, while we only required five meter bored piles in some areas, a few meters further along 33-meter piles were required.” Saving time and space in goods receipt The design of the picking process and provision of dispatch pallets had to become more efficient viastore systems GmbH in Stuttgart, Germany was able to provide this complete package that adhered to the WMS viad@t standard. viad@t manages the stock, determines the most effective strategies, and is intuitive to operate. The software in the automatic warehouse also regulates the control and visualization of the complex material flows. The system can be connected to all of the ERP and goods management systems via standardized interfaces. The logistic centre has room for 700,000 wheels. The double-depth system is controlled with six viapal type racking storage and retrieval vehicles. A conveyor technology loop made up of three bridges fitted with fire suppression and high-speed doors connects the warehouse to the upstream building section, in which goods receipt, outgoing goods, and picking are located. Goods receipt is processed via a single infeed station. “This meets our requirements perfectly as the goods pallets from our own production department have a 2D bar code that already includes all the necessary information,” explains Björn Bender, Manager of Alcar’s new central warehouse. “The data f+h Intralogistics 3/2015 33