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An intralogistics masterpiece on nearly 30,000 square metres

Future proof through innovation

Hamburg, 26 January 2023 - Rhenus Warehousing Solutions takes over the logistics of SPAX, a manufacturer of connecting elements, and bundles the processes in a new logistics centre in Bönen, North Rhine-Westphalia. For automating the innovative warehouse, the logistics service provider will rely on the expertise of intralogistics specialist STILL. As a one-stop solution provider for innovative in-plant logistics solutions with many years of experience in the automation, STILL is the ideal partner for this project, which to date is unique in Germany.

Rhenus Warehousing Solutions will rely on automation solutions from STILL at its new logistics centre in Bönen, North Rhine-Westphalia. The logistics operations of SPAX, a manufacturer of connecting elements, are bundled here in an area of nearly 30,000 square metres.

The logistics centre for SPAX, the globally renowned screw brand, will be one of the largest and most modern goods-to-person order picking facilities with autonomous mobile robots (AMR) in Germany. STILL and Rhenus Warehousing Solutions are implementing a comprehensive intralogistics concept comprising driverless transport systems, autonomous mobile robots and a fully automated VNA (Very Narrow Aisle) racking system with over 42,000 storage locations on an area of almost 30,000 square metres.

Fully automated processes for maximum efficiency and safety

A total of more than 150 automated STILL trucks - including MX-X iGo systems order picking stacker trucks, EXV iGo systems high lift pallet trucks and autonomous ACH 10 mobile robots - will be used in multi-shift operation to ensure that all goods are reliably transported to different work areas, stored and made available for subsequent processes as required. In line with the claim to innovation of Rhenus and the end customer SPAX, STILL is implementing an overall logistics concept that operates entirely without manual transport processes between goods receipt and goods issue. The goods arriving from the incoming goods department are stored in the narrow- aisle warehouse by automated high lift pallet trucks and order picking stacker trucks. From there, the goods are automatically transported from the narrow-aisle warehouse to the SPAX packing department, where the goods are divided into packages. The finished goods packed by SPAX are automatically transported from there to the narrow-aisle warehouse for intermediate storage and then distributed to the AMR warehouse. This is where the autonomous mobile robots ACH come into play in addition to the automated order picking stacker trucks MX-X iGo systems and high lift pallet trucks EXV iGo systems. These ensure the automated provision of the finished goods at the picking stations. From there, they take the fully picked orders to the goods issue area, where the goods are prepared for dispatch.

"The fully automated solution with intelligent vehicles and a custom-fit racking system ensures maximum process reliability and optimised capacity," explains Patrick Litz, Head of Advanced Applications at STILL. "In addition, we significantly increase safety in the warehouse and offer our customer a future-proof way of responding to the increasing shortage of skilled workers in the logistics industry."

Competence & partnership: Success factors of complex innovation projects

The key to the successful implementation of a project of this size is not only comprehensive specialist knowledge and technological expertise, but also a constructive partnership between all those involved in the project. For example, the STILL experts already became involved in the early stages of the project, contributing their know-how and many years of experience to the planning and design. "We are talking about a plant that is unprecedented in Germany. With these dimensions and this degree of complexity, close cooperation in partnership is an important success factor" explains Patrick Litz. And he adds: "All these components mark our cooperation with Rhenus Warehousing Solutions to a high degree and we are very pleased to be able to help shape this trend-setting project for intralogistics." The client, Rhenus Warehousing Solutions, is also more than happy with the choice of its intralogistics partner. "The STILL team's high level of consulting expertise and partnership-based approach won us over right from the start," explains Andreas Mayer, member of the management team at Rhenus Warehousing Solutions Germany. "The concept takes into account all our requirements for the new warehouse and is also flexibly scalable - an important factor with regard to future viability."