The Swiss company Streng Plastic AG specialises in the manufacture of plastic piping systems. In order to increase storage capacity, a narrow-aisle warehouse with approximately 4,100 pallet storage locations, warehouse management via WMS, and connected vehicles was erected in Niederhasli.
The warehouse and its processes must be reliable, safe and efficient. At the same time, the logistics system was to be realised in a very restricted space. Possibly the greatest challenge was the complexity of the project and the numerous different functions involved. This includes a racking system, fork lift trucks, a warehouse management system including IT infrastructure giving consideration to fire prevention regulations and a warehouse with a wide range of requirements. Following an analysis of requirements and material flow, the decision was made to go for a narrow-aisle warehouse with warehouse navigation and Jungheinrich WMS.
"Jungheinrich was the only company able to solve all three problems we had: namely the forklift truck, the storage system, and the warehouse management system."
As the operator still used an older ERP system, intralogistics processes were connected via WMS and from there via a defined interface to the host system. A pioneering solution, which enables the exchange of article master data, goods receipt and outward notes, stock comparisons, or order picking status. Streng Plastic can work independently in WMS without having to use the ERP system in operative processes. In the case of the fork lift trucks used in the narrow-aisle warehouse, these are an inductively guided EKX 515 electric order picker/three-lateral stacker and an EKS 210 vertical order picker. As the fork lift trucks are equipped with RFID warehouse navigation and communicate with the WMS, they semi-automatically handle their driving and order-picking jobs. The logistics interface which connects the forklift trucks in the system with the WMS plays an important role. The software shows the direction of travel and lift on the operator's display, so the operator simply needs to initiate a drive pulse. The fork lift truck moves towards its target diagonally and on the quickest route to the exact point. Our fork lift trucks can be connected to any warehouse management systems via the logistics interface.
"Jungheinrich was the only company here in Switzerland which was able to solve all three of the problems we had: namely the forklift truck, the storage system, and the warehouse management system. No other company was able to offer such a complete package," explains Urs Hänseler, deputy CEO of Streng Plastic AG. Our warehouse navigation particularly impressed: The warehouse navigation plays a very large role in the picking process because it allows the employee to continually work at a high level of quality in his capacity. If we didn't have the warehouse navigation, the employee's performance would decrease after three to five hours."