New ZKW logistics center accelerates production and expands capacity
Fully automated flow of goods from receipt to the assembly line saves time and costs
After around a year of construction, the new ZKW logistics center in Wieselburg is now in operation. The highly automated warehouse system at the former parking lot on Scheibbser Straße guarantees a fast and efficient supply of materials for the entire production site. Additional assembly lines have been connected to the new system each week since mid-October. The goal is to have all 28 production lines linked to the logistics center by the first quarter of 2022. The smart warehouse not only provides additional storage capacity, but also clears up former storage areas to be used as new production space. “Thanks to the new logistics center, in the future the entire flow of goods – from receipt to manufacturing – will be fully automated and will include no extra steps to move goods into or out of storage. Now it takes just 15 minutes from the time materials are ordered on the assembly line to the time the required parts arrive” says Stefan Hauptmann, General Plant Manager for ZKW Lichtsysteme Wieselburg.
The logistics center is equipped with the “Multi Shuttle” storage system from manufacturer Dematic. Overall, the 80-meter long, 20-meter wide and 21-meter high building complex provides 62,000 container storage spaces – divided over five lanes of 28 levels each. The system can transport the majority of the containers from the warehouse directly to the assembly line via a roller transport system. The transport system, which is around three kilometers long, can handle up to 1,500 movements per hour of goods into and out of storage. Around 190 different types of containers can be transported at speeds of up to 0.8 meters per second. The two existing high-bay shelving systems are also connected, along with the automated small parts warehouse, the quality area, module production, the empty container cellar and the goods receipt area. “We are saving a huge amount of space on the assembly line with the system, since it delivers the required parts on a fully automated basis and as-needed” says Hauptmann.
Optimal use of space
All production space at the Wieselburg ZKW location is already being utilized. At the same time, there are an increasing number of components and variants, taking up more and more space each year. The new logistics center not only expands storage capacity, but also makes it possible to convert former storage space into production areas. The project was planned in January 2019 by ZKW and Dematic. Regional companies handled the construction and infrastructure. The tight timeline was challenging, as was the process to connect the logistics center to the production plant. This challenge was overcome by a seven meter high bridge over the Erlauftal railway. Due to the limited space available in the production warehouses, a 100-meter long exterior tunnel was constructed to ensure the supply of materials for the entire plant. “The goal is to transport the majority of containers from the warehouse directly to the assembly line via the transport system in the future” says Hauptmann.