Dematic has completed the installation at two Weiss Technik sites of stand-alone AutoStore systems and the commissioning phases have also recently been completed. The system at the German headquarters of the market leader for environmental simulation equipment in Lindenstruth, Hesse, completed commissioning in Q1 of this year. The energy-efficient systems are controlled and operated with SAP WM Go warehouse management software, which Dematic has integrated with existing ERP systems.
Weiss Technik is a member of the Schunk Group, which is a leading supplier of products made from high-tech materials, such as carbon, technical ceramics, and sintered metal as well as machines and systems, including environmental simulation and air conditioning to ultrasonic welding and optical machines.
Niko Hoffmann, project engineer at Weiss Technik, says a critical factor in the decision to work with Dematic was that the solution is scalable and can be expanded without major restrictions, even during operation. Additional bin locations can be easily implemented via grid extensions and more robots can also be integrated quickly.
“Our decision to go with Dematic was based on a long-term perspective. With its global network of engineering professionals and many years of experience in warehouse solutions, it was important to select a reliable partner with the highest quality standards and expertise,” explains Hoffmann.
At the Lindenstruth site, nine robots transport as well as store and retrieve approximately 13,400 bins. The bins can also be divided into further compartments to hold additional items. The robots travel on the surface of the structure, accessing bins with requested goods as needed. They then transport the bins to the picking workstations. The compact unit-load picking AutoStore systems have a high storage density and automate both production supply and spare parts dispatch at Weiss Technik.
At the other location in Balingen in Baden-Württemberg, Dematic has installed an AutoStore system with approximately 6,300 bins and nine robots as well. A roller conveyor connects the picking workstations with the respective production areas to eliminate unnecessary walking and secondary activities by employees. In addition, there is no need to refill goods, which results in additional time savings. “As a result, the systems should lead to significantly higher picking performance with a lower error rate,” says Hoffman. Multiple stabilisation towers ensure smooth operation in one of the highest seismic zones in Germany. The towers have been installed together with the AutoStore system with the grid fixed to them. Dematic has taken on the role of general contractor.
Energy efficiency was also a factor. Notes Winnie Ahrens, sales director DACH (Germany, Austria and Switzerland) “Because of its extremely compact storage and its low energy consumption, the AutoStore concept is environmentally friendly and thus fits perfectly with Weiss Technik’s sustainability approach.”
Energy is recovered when the robots brake and when the bins are lowered. Since no lighting is required and the AutoStore space requirements are low with less building space to maintain, Weiss Technik benefits from further energy savings.
“Despite the severely impacted global supply chains that every business relies on, we managed to complete the dual order for Weiss Technik on time and on budget, which is outstanding given today’s challenges,” says Ahrens.
Collaboration with Dematic is anticipated to be strengthened, says Hoffman. A framework agreement has already been signed with the Schunk Group, the holding company for Weiss Technik, for additional solutions featuring AutoStore systems. “We look forward to future cooperation with the Schunk Group and Weiss Technik,” says Ahrens.”