Space saving solution

17 August 2015

PCI Augsburg, part of BASF Construction Chemicals, has a stringent delivery promise and needed fast storage throughput to meet it.

The company promises its customers goods will arrive within a maximum of 24 hours after they have been ordered throughout Germany, Austria and most of Switzerland. 

In 2013, PCI Augsburg decided to replace its bulk storage facility. By separating provision of goods and the loading process, they were hoping to reduce travel routes and times on the one hand and, on the other hand, increase the security of the provision of goods process. In close cooperation with its system integrator the company chose an Interroll Dynamic Storage system.

Eduard Kirschenmann, head of PCI distribution centres highlights the requirements the new system had to meet: "The demands placed on our provision of goods are constantly changing and the product range is becoming more diversified. For us, it was important the new system would allow us to perform handling more quickly with less space and higher security for our employees. This was successfully achieved with the Interroll Dynamic Storage system.”

Jürgen Remitschka, head of the distribution centre in Augsburg, adds: "We now have much more space and forklift movements are greatly reduced because the travel paths are much shorter.”

The challenge in realising this project was that the euro pallets are basically transported crosswise and differ greatly in weight from 200kg up to 1,200kg. A 2-year function warranty taking 3-shift operations into consideration was also important to PCI Augsburg in awarding this contract.

In close cooperation with Interroll, integrator LTA Lagertechnik Detlef Albrecht developed a gravity-driven dynamic storage solution according to the FIFO principle (first in-first out) that includes 21 channels and 189 pallet positions that meet requirements for the customer.

The roller conveyors used are divided into two parts with staggered speed controllers. They are also set up to be very wide to improve load distribution and therefore, also the running characteristics. This also contributes to a long service life of the elements used. The offset roller axles help to better support the transversely grouped pallet runners and thus guarantee the constant restart of the pallets. The dynamic storage modules in the five percent inclined flow channels use gravity to allow the pallets to roll energy neutrally and directionally stable from the input to the picking face.

The Magnetic Speed Controller from Interroll is a sophisticated high-speed control technology that allows for the reliability of the running pallets to be increased significantly.

The controller allows for an optimum braking effect to be achieved and thus increases the life span of the wear-free controller quite considerably. The speed of transport of the pallets is maintained at 0.3m/s regardless of their weight. It is currently the only patented magnetic speed controller on the market. In combination with the safety separator (Time Plus Separator), which uses a time interval element to allow for safe and easy unloading of the front pallet before the next pallet follows, both employee safety and ease of use is guaranteed. When the first pallet is lifted for unloading, the next pallet is released in the channel only after a time lag. The forklift driver therefore has enough time to remove the pallet safely before the second pallet follows.

A selection of customer pallets were sent to the Interroll Centre of Excellence for Dynamic Storage in La Roche-sur-Yon, France, so in-depth trials could be performed. To find the best solution, different loads were tested on roller test tracks under controlled conditions. These tests took the gradient of the slope into account, the controlled pickup speed, separation and restart of standing pallet loads.