Dematic installs automated fulfilment system for German nuts-and-bolts company

Dematic has installed a tailor-made and innovative storage and order fulfilment system, featuring the new Dematic Multishuttle, at Ferdinand Gross, a major European supplier of fasteners and connectivity technologies.
The Dematic Multishuttle is a flexible Automated Storage and Retrieval Systems (AS/RS) solution for applications that require dynamic, high-rate product sequencing to support order assembly, goods-to-the-person picking, and pick-face replenishment. The key attributes of Dematic’s Multishuttle include high-rate capacity, ability to accommodate load sequencing requirements, and adaptability to existing building layouts.
The system has brought substantially higher efficiency than the solution previously employed at Ferdinand Gross. Order throughput times have been reduced from as much as 3.5 hours to as little as 30 minutes, and as a result, the company was able to extend the incoming order cut-off time by three hours.
The Multishuttle at Ferdinand Gross has highly dynamic picking with a high rate of flexibility due to the unique installation of the Multishuttle. This installation features the world’s first installation of the two Multishuttle versions, ‘Captive’ and ‘Roaming’, in a single storage unit with identical shuttles in both areas.
The Multishuttle Roaming system is dedicated primarily to the fastest moving items, improving availability and flexibility. The Roaming system delivers optimisation and cost savings compared to conventional solutions using automatic small-parts pickers. In the Roaming area, 20 shuttles serve the 59,000 storage positions at a throughput rate of 615 double cycles (parallel storages and retrievals) per hour. Every aisle contains one shuttle which accesses each level by lift and then runs on the rail to the selected storage position. The individual shuttles are transferred between levels via lifts – at impressive speeds.
The Multishuttle Captive area manages order picking of items from the roaming section, shelf storage system and picking-related logistics. Here, each level in the aisle is equipped with its own shuttle. The shuttles retrieves tote boxes from storage positions and conveys them to a lift at the end of the lane. The lift vertically transfers the boxes to the out-feed conveyors which lead to an ergonomically-optimised picking station. Here, sequencing to customer specification is possible, i.e. delivery of goods from inventory in the precise sequence that they are needed for picking for the order. In the captive area, 12 shuttles are operational, serving 5,000 storage positions at a rate of 514 double cycles per hour.
Summary of logistics data and facts:
  • Total of 120,000 shelf storage locations, 20,000 pallet storage spaces at parent company in Leinfelden-Echterdingen, Germany.
  • 72,000 standard parts, 24,000 customer specific parts, 11,000 tools permanently in stock.
  • 5,000 order lines per day in the forwarding department.
  • Approximately 40 tons each of incoming and outgoing goods each day.
  • Handling capacity of over 1,000 picks per hour.
  • Generous new bin warehouse: shelf height 12 metres with 30 levels,
  • shelf length 31 metres, shelf width 19 metres.
  • Multishuttle Roaming: 5 lanes with 20 Shuttles, 615 double cycles/hour.
  • Multishuttle Captive: upper 12 levels per lane, 12 shuttles, 514 double cycles/per hour.

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