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Gebhardt Fördertechnik GmbH from Sinsheim have implemented a two-lane shuttle warehouse for container consolidation upstream of outbound goods in a leading wholesale provider for connection elements and attachment technology. Ten multi-level shuttles with lifting function now supply 17 workplaces with up to 1,800 containers per hour.

Founded in 1887 as a shop for hardware, tools and ship items in the Hamburg harbour, REYHER Nchfg. GmbH & Co. KG now sells 130,000 different items – from the anchor rod to the cylinder pin. Every day, about 3,500 customer orders with up to 21,000 items and more than 265 t of goods are shipped around the world from the central warehouse in Hamburg. "e;To us, the supply safety of our customers is of the highest priority,"e; says managing director Dr. Peter Bielert about the high goods availability. With a readiness for delivery in excess of 99 percent, around-the-clock standby five days a week and short times to delivery around the world, the company is logistically playing in the Champion's League with more than 600 employees and a turnover of 280 M Euro.

Immense dimensions and complex structures

The dimensions for these logistics services are immense: more than 30,000 t goods are stored on 35,000 bins in the pallet high-bay warehouse, 25,000 bins in pallet picking and 120,000 bins in the AKL. Between 2009 and 2013, REYHER invested 30 M Euro in logistics – most recently in a two-lane shuttle warehouse, including conveyor technology connection and workplaces for order consolidation. REYHER charged Gebhardt Fördertechnik GmbH from Sinsheim with the delivery.

The special feature of the multi-level shuttle system Storebiter 300 developed and delivered by Gebhardt is the shuttles' ability to serve several shelf compartments on top of each other without having to change the level with a lift. For this, each shuttle is equipped with a lifting function and a multi-gripper load handling equipment to put the containers of up to 25 kg in and out of storage. Due to the spatial situation, the aisles of 20 m length each in the shuttle storage are opposite each other. Per aisle, five shuttles are operated on five levels to supply about 3,500 bins at a height of up to 9 m. They are powered via a power rail system.

"The old solution with two lifting beam devices and movement carts was able to handle only about 600 to 800 items per hour at a storage capacity of 2,500 containers. We have continually operated at the capacity limit," Bielert remembers. The new solution permits transport of up to 1,800 containers per hour to the workplaces. Thus, not only throughput and capacity could be more than doubled, but the failure probability of the buffer storage could be clearly reduced as well.

Implementation in running operation

To ensure shipment during conversion as well, the plant had to be replaced step by step. "We were able to move about 50% of the capacity into other halls in this phase. The remaining 50% still had to be processed via the present system," Bielert describes the situation. In the first step, Gebhardt therefore built up the shelf system, the circulating conveyors and the platform, installing the lanes for placement in and removal from storage and taking the shuttles into operation. Then eight present workplaces and the lifting beam device were connected to the shuttle warehouse. In the next step, REYHER had eight old workplaces removed. In return, Gebhardt installed eight new ones, including container buffer and empty container discharge. At the change of the year 2012/2013, the old capacities were shut down entirely, while the shipping lanes and eight new workplaces took up operation. This way, all the old plant parts could be disassembled and the remaining new workplaces, including conveyor technology connection, could be installed. On time for 1 March 2013, all work was completed and the entire system could be started up

The interface with the present material flow computer was implemented by Gebhardt together with the control partner of REYHER, UCS Industrieelektronik GmbH. Mobile panels, with which any shuttle can be operated in manual and automatic mode, are used to service the shuttles. Additionally, it offers an insight into current operating orders and various diagnosis options.

Ready for continued growth

Today, up to 21,000 shipping containers per day with picked goods for domestic customers are transported through the shuttle warehouse to order consolidation and to the shipping workplaces. "With the new system and a capacity that has nearly doubled, we are ready for the next few years' growth," Bielert summarises happily. He still can't sit back and rest - soon, the pallet high-bay warehouse will be improved.

Shipping Output
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Technical Data
Drive 400 V
Max. load 2x50 kg
Max. height 2 m
Lifting speed 1 m/s
Lifting acceleration 1.5 m/s²
Running speed 3.0 m/s
Running acceleration 2.0 m/s²
Immense Dimensions
Complex Structures
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Phone: +49 (0)7261-939 173
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Hall 5 • Stand A71
Implementation in
Running Operation
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