Claas Industrietechnik (CIT) is a system provider for drive technology and hydraulics used by manufacturers of agricultural and construction machinery, military vehicles and clients in the offshore sector. After an extreme volume increase, the company warehouse was bursting at the seams.
In particular, the original parts warehouse of the Paderborn-based company was stretched to its limits. CIT also had plans to further improve the supply of purchased parts to its production lines. In addition, the company aimed to standardise its processes and article structure, while also optimising its personnel deployment. However, the greatest challenge posed by this project was the managerial requirement of having the new warehouse integrated in an existing building. As a result, optimum use needed to be made of the available space. A narrow-aisle solution was clearly the only viable approach, given the space restrictions and the wide range of parts involved.
"All I knew was that we needed a warehouse that would give us maximum flexibility to respond to further changes in our parts range."
Despite the small size of the project, it soon became clear that the planning would be very complex indeed. A wide range of solutions were created and promptly discarded. A decisive factor during this planning phase was the close collaboration and constant communication between the contract partners. In the first implementation phase, the old hall, which previously served as a forge was emptied, the floor resurfaced and the new warehouse constructed. The warehouse measures approximately 30 by 40 metres and is 7.5 metres high. It currently houses 2100 items in large and small containers. Around 3200 large containers are stored on pallet racks, while modular racking systems accommodate the small containers, currently numbering around 13,000. The material flow itself is a model of simplicity and efficiency. In marked contrast to the previous situation, no order picking now takes place.
The difficulties encountered when constructing the new warehouse are described by Ingo Körner, head of logistics at CIT, as follows: "Because of ongoing changes to our product range, we couldn't be sure of future turnaround rates. All I knew was that we needed a warehouse that would give us maximum flexibility to respond to future changes in our parts range." Claas realised that he needed professional support to achieve these aims: "I wasn't able to specify an exact number of aisles or storage locations. I needed someone who was capable of working with us to find a solution!" Today, both parties can look back on a successful project. "Using a range of different rack types and container sizes we have made optimum use of the available space, and are in excellent shape to respond to any future developments", says a delighted Ingo Körner.