VBH Holding GmbH: Storage and Picking of Items for Online Shipping

Based in Korntal-Münchingen, VBH Holding GmbH is Europe's largest retailer of window and door fittings. The assortment includes both products from well-known manufacturers and in-house developments that are distributed via online shipping. A basic component of the supply chain is the storage and picking of roughly 15,500 items in VBH's central warehouse in Bad Dürrenberg. A broad range of small parts such as screws, cover caps, and fittings are continually stocked over an area of 19,000 square meters and delivered to the customer within 24 to 48 hours of receiving the order.

Projekt Requirements

Until the start of 2015, goods up to 2.4 m in length were stored exclusively in pallet and static racks. This stockpiling takes up a lot of space and is often associated with long, unproductive routes for pickers and frequent picking errors, which has a negative effect on the quality of supply for the customer. VBH was therefore on the lookout for an automated, scalable system that utilizes the goods-to-person principle, which would reduce the picking error rate significantly. The solution: the LOGIMAT® Vertical Lift Module from SSI SCHAEFER. The vertical lift module ensures high-density warehousing and ergonomic picking of small parts for online shipping in the smallest area. The lift module control software also includes a plug-and-play function for connecting to VBH's SAP ERP/WM system. 

Goals

  • Automated, scalable storage and picking solution in one system

  • Significant reduction in order throughput times due to minimized picking error rate

  • Order consolidation in the small parts picking process, with optimized quality of supply

  • Improved utilization of space with additional storage location capacities for new, enhanced assortments through high-density warehousing and picking

  • Synchronous cooperation between the SAP ERP/WM system and the PLC lift module control software connected via the LOGIDRIVER option

  • Transparency over all stock levels and goods movements, including reliable, permanent inventory

SSI SCHAEFER SYSTEM SOLUTION AND COMPONENTS

SSI SCHAEFER System solution and components at a glance

SSI SCHAEFER SYSTEM SOLUTION AND COMPONENTS

VBH initially commissioned SSI SCHAEFER to install four LOGIMAT® Vertical Lift Modules with a height of 6850 mm in 2015, each fitted with 48 trays with a load capacity of up to 590 kg. The systems supplied were also fitted with the LOGIPOINTER option for optical indication of the storage position using a laser pointer and the easy-to-use 17" TOUCH PANEL option for the access openings. Another reason behind VBH's decision to purchase the LOGIMAT® Vertical Lift Module was the implemented height measurement system, which enables goods of various sizes to be stored with ease. The new system solution for the automated storage and picking of small parts has quickly proven itself, and in 2016, SSI SCHAEFER installed a further six LOGIMAT® Vertical Lift Modules of the same model at VBH's central warehouse. Today, a total of ten LOGIMAT® Vertical Lift Modules ensure the shortest possible order throughput times for online shipping thanks to a precise material flow with a minimized picking error rate. 

SAP CONNECTION WITHOUT ADDITIONAL PROGRAMMING

Easy to connect to your SAP System

SAP EWM implemented by IT experts: customized and from a single source

SAP connection without additional programming

The lift module trays are controlled using the LOGIDRIVER option – a standardized PLC interface from SSI SCHAEFER – directly from the existing SAP-ERP system with the integrated SAP WM (Warehouse Management) module. The integrated programmable logic controller (PLC) from SSI SCHAEFER controls all drives via frequency control, monitors the stored goods, and ensures the safe operation of the LOGIMAT®.

The lift modules are operated using an intuitive 17" TOUCH PANEL positioned in the center, and the SAP interface means that employees are working in a familiar environment. When retrieving the small parts that have been prepared, they are guided by the LOGIPOINTER, which clearly identifies the picking compartment using a laser pointer.

All things considered, the use of the lift module solution from SSI SCHAEFER has allowed VBH to successfully strip down the conventional static racks completely, thereby saving roughly 1900 m2 of space including traffic areas. The storage and picking of 4,600 small parts in the compact LOGIMAT® Vertical Lift Modules – which equates to roughly 30 percent of the entire range of parts in stock – only takes up an area of roughly 150 m².

LOGIMAT® VERTICAL LIFT MODULE – KEY SYSTEM FIGURES FROM VBH

Key system figures from VBH at a glance

NUMBER10
Width/height4500 mm/ 6.850 mm
Number of trays480: 48 trays per vertical lift module
Storage locations4.600 
Additional components
  • LOGIPOINTER: Optical indication of the storage position using a laser pointer

  • LOGIDRIVER: Standardized PLC interface for connecting to the customer's warehouse management systems 

  • 17" TOUCH PANEL: Large, clear touch panel for ease of use within the access opening


WHAT OUR CUSTOMERS SAY

"The use of vertical lift modules in conjunction with the LOGIPOINTER has enabled us to drastically reduce the number of picking errors in comparison with the other warehouse areas. Not only do we benefit from this, but our customers do too."
Marc Hess
Senior Project Manager at VBH

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