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Home>Industry Sector>Distribution>Automation delivers quick ROI

Automation delivers quick ROI

06 April 2021

Natural remedies firm Wala Heilmittel has invested in an automated solution from Swisslog which will allow the firm to grow without relying on external warehousing.

Capacity limits at the firm’s Bad Boll headquarters had long been reached and external warehouses had to be rented: an ineffective situation that requires a lot of organisation, time and money. 

In order to increase efficiency, Wala decided to build a new distribution and logistics centre in the neighbouring town of Zell. Under the direction of Swisslog, Wala built an automated warehouse for 26,000 products on a floor space of 16,000 sq m. The facility houses both production materials and finished goods.

Wala's new distribution and logistics centre went live in 2018. Compared to existing logistics, it significantly increases the company's productivity through modern, high-performance logistics technologies, reduces error rates and achieves a convincing degree of space utilisation thanks to its compactness. All of these factors allowed Wala to achieve a rapid return on investment. 

Data and facts at a glance

  • Automated high-bay pallet warehouse: 12,000 bins, 4 Vectura SRMs
  • Automated small parts warehouse: 13,000 bins, 3 RBG Tornado 
  • CycloneCarrier (shuttle warehouse): 1,200 storage locations, 10 shuttles
  • Conveyor technology: ProMove, QuickMove conveyor technology
  • Software: SynQ software with interface to SAP EWM

Wala's distribution and logistics centre combines several Swisslog technologies under one roof, using both pallet and light goods technology. The solution includes an automated pallet warehouse in silo design, single-deep, with 12,000 storage locations and four Vectura storage and retrieval machines (SRMs) connected to the ProMove pallet conveyor system. In the light goods area, there is an automated small parts warehouse (AS/RS) for 13,000 totes and trays, also in silo design and with three Tornado SRMs. Swisslog conveyor technology QuickMove completes the solution.

A highlight of the new Wala distribution and logistics centre is it’s CycloneCarrier warehouse. The innovative shuttle system from Swisslog with the latest generation of technology stands for the highest throughput rates and availability. In one hour, up to 1,000 storage and retrieval of transport units per aisle are possible. At Wala, the CycloneCarrier is designed as an intelligent buffer system with 1,200 storage locations and ten shuttles operating across two access levels. Shelving and a connection to the light goods conveyor system with storage and retrieval lifts complement the CycloneCarrier system. 

Finally, Wala's new distribution and logistics centre comprises twelve order-picking workstations including flow racking, platforms, and another Tornado stacker crane. 

An SAP-EWM environment, the distribution and logistics centre is controlled and monitored via interfaces with Swisslog's SynQ software. As a result, Wala has an overall logistics system that is sophisticated down to the last detail and takes both current and future growth into account. This logistics facility is highly digitalised and prepared for the requirements of Industry 4.0.

For more information, visit www.swisslog.com