Würth Industrie Service
Bad Mergentheim, Germany
Würth Industry Service GmbH & Co. KG
in Bad Mergentheim is a separate company within the Würth Group. The Würth Group is the world market leader in their core business, offering professional fasteners and mounting materials. Currently, the group has 69,000 employees in over 400 partners located in more than 80 countries. With over three million customers worldwide, the Würth Group achieved a turnover of about 11.0 billion euros during the 2015 business year.
Within the Würth Group, Würth Industrie Service in Bad Mergentheim acts as supplier to the industrial sector. The company supplies industrial customers with modular logistics and procurement solutions for connection and fastening elements. This assortment includes more than 1 million articles and customer-specific solutions for handling industrial C-parts. This includes more than 100,000 articles in the classic product range for trade and industry. Supply is achieved mainly through Kanban; the goods are delivered in small load carriers (W-KLTs 2.0) specially developed for Würth, which the customer then places in flow racks to supply assembly lines. With this, Würth Industrie Service is the world market leader in C-parts management.
Würth Industrie Service GmbH & Co KG has set its goal to create in Bad Mergentheim the most modern logistics centre for industrial supply in all of Europe. Innovative technologies that are specially
geared towards the industrial sector are needed to guarantee supply at the right time. Maximal safety, flexibility and system performance are therefore of utmost importance. Since the customers are supplied according to the Kanban principle, articles are transported in part as bulk material in the W-KLTs. These load units demand extreme precision in the control system of the conveyor system. Another challenge in this sector is presented by the heavy nature of most of the articles in the assortment. Trays with cargo weighing up to 50 kg have to be transported. Heavy articles also place great strain on the employees. Therefore, reducing the physical strain for the employee is particularly important, and the ergonomic design of the work stations played an important role in the realization of the project. During planning, particular consideration was given to flexible system design. Additionally, ease of access for maintenance and service work was given special attention. Würth and KNAPP have maintained a long-term partnership, and during this project, KNAPP was able to prove the capacity of its solutions for applications in industry. Frank Freudenberger, Head of Logistics and procurator at Würth Industrie Service, on having KNAPP as a partner: “Our goal is to constantly optimize the logistical processes in order to provide our customers with maximum security in the supply of C-parts. Our companies are connected through a similar philosophy and strategic orientation: to be reliable, creative, innovative and open for the markets of tomorrow.”
Flexibility for industry
Focussing on the special demands of this industry, KNAPP developed a solution for Würth Industrie Service perfectly tuned to the customers’ needs. The warehouse in Bad Mergentheim was constructed in two expansion stages, with proven technologies as well as innovations coming into play. In KNAPP, Würth found the ideal partner to come up with a flexible solution.
high-performance OSR Shuttle™ is at the centre of the solution. The system offers the highest storage capacity as well as flexibility, and fulfils all the requirements of an automated storage system: storage, consolidation, sequencing, dispatch buffering and picking. What’s more, a large number of different containers, trays and carrier units can be handled. These are conveyed through the warehouse on KNAPP‘s high-performance Streamline conveyor system. With a total of 8 storage aisles and 240 shuttles, the shuttle system offers storage locations for 151,000 trays. Prior to dispatch, the trays are retrieved from the OSR Shuttle™ in the correct sequence. The orders are sorted among 20 dispatch buffer lines and then transported to the palletizing stations.
Pick-it-Easy work stations
Processing heavy articles received special attention in order to protect employees; 20 multifunctional Pick-it-Easy work stations were integrated into the solution. The work stations are supplied from the OSR Shuttle™ according the goods-to-person principle. The work stations are identical and fulfil 6 different functions: picking, checking, emptying and merging as well as carrying out tasks for incoming and outgoing goods. The ergonomic design of the work stations drastically reduces strenuous tasks such as lifting, bending and reaching. For fast picking, four additional work stations are available. There, pre-picked KLTs or single items are repacked to trays for storage in the OSR Shuttle™.
Three Open Shuttles operating in the goods-in area reduce the physical strain on employees. The driverless transporters convey trays with articles from goods-in completely autonomously to the conveyor system infeed point, where the trays are transferred for storage into the OSR Shuttle™. This provides great relief to the employees working in goods-in, because they no longer need to manually transfer the containers to the conveyor system. The Open Shuttles independently plan their routes and avoid obstacles. In the goods-in area the paths for forklift trucks and employees must remain free and the Open Shuttles, therefore, are an optimal alternative to a static conveyor system.