Dematic Installs AutoStore™ System at Building Communication Manufacturer Siedle
June 22, 2021
Heusenstamm / Furtwangen – Dematic has installed an order picking system featuring an AutoStore subsystem in the logistics centre of S. Siedle & Söhne Telefon- und Telegrafenwerke OHG in Furtwangen in the Black Forest. With the compact piece goods picking system, Europe's leading manufacturer of building communication technology now automates order picking while optimising use of its warehouse space. Inventory is stored in a area of 12,500 bins on only 480 square metres. Seven robots automatically access requested items and transport them to the workstations where items are picked and prepared for dispatch or forwarded to production. The system is controlled and operated directly by an SAP WM warehouse management system, which has been expanded with the Dematic SubSuite module, a template specially developed for controlling material flow and control centre activities and connected to all subsystems. As a result, Siedle has significantly simplified its IT landscape.
“The AutoStore subsystem convinced us not only with its performance, but also with its extremely compact design, flexibility and modularity, which enables extensions with very manageable effort,” stated Richard Rutschmann, Managing Director Technology at Siedle. The company has been operating in Furtwangen in the Black Forest for 270 years and generates more than 80 percent of its net product in-house. After its existing small-parts store had reached capacity limits, Siedle set out to find a solution that would ideally not require any major structural changes.
The AutoStore subsystem fit the company requirements profile perfectly. One of the biggest advantages was its highly efficient storage. The compact design and its adaptability to existing building restrictions made adding onto Siedle's logistics centre unnecessary. The system automates both storage and order picking of products and components, delivering items directly to customers or to their production facilities for further processing. “This way, we are significantly slim down and accelerate processes in both logistics and production,” said Rutschmann. Remarkably, the system requires only 480 square metres of space, and if one robot is unavailable, another one takes over its place automatically.
The AutoStore subsystem is controlled and operated by SAP WM warehouse management software, which directs AutoStore control software. Dematic replaced the existing material flow software for the pallet warehouse and conveyor technology and controls them directly from the SAP system, with the help of the Dematic SubSuite module. All data automatically flow in a single system, which ensures smooth operation. “This lets us unify our IT landscape, which is a great advantage for ongoing operations and the associated data evaluation,” said Rutschmann. The software also manages the order picking sequencing by grouping individual items, sorting the supply according to different criteria and assigning them to picking locations to initiate the automatic transport of the bins to the workstations in the required sequence. This functionality is mapped directly in the SAP system ― interfaces to external IT solutions are not required. “The SAP system is always in control. Direct integration gives us complete transparency and up-to-the-second information, all on the same platform,” according to Rutschmann.
Siedle was able to commission the system in just a few months after selecting the system. The project also involved the technical consulting and planning firm io-consultants GmbH & Co. KG, who had developed a comprehensive modernisation concept in advance and then supported the implementation. As a Dematic solution, the AutoStore-based system at Siedle is designed to adapt easily to peak order times and to facilitate future growth. Specifically, additional robots can be installed at short notice without having to interrupt operations.
Dematic designs, builds, and supports intelligent automated solutions empowering and sustaining the future of commerce for its customers in manufacturing, warehousing, and distribution. With research and development engineering centers, manufacturing facilities, and service centers located in more than 35 countries, the Dematic global network of over 11,000 employees has helped achieve successful customer installations for some of the world’s leading brands. Headquartered in Atlanta, Dematic is a member of KION Group, one of the world’s leading suppliers of industrial trucks and supply chain solutions.
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