Logistics centre doubles performance with TGW tech
11 January 2016
Efficient, standardised processes, enhanced capacity and optimum customer service were the key drivers behind Conrad Electronic expanding its German logistics centre.
Together with automated logistics solutions provider TGW and SAP specialists IGZ, Conrad successfully fulfilled these aims and subsequently doubled its performance.
As a leading multi-channel retailer of specialist and everyday electronics, Conrad Electronic offers more than 700,000 products to customers worldwide. The company serves both its online customers and its 30 European stores from its distribution centre in Wernberg, Germany.
With a growing range of products, the distribution centre was bursting at the seams. More space, greater efficiency and a future-proof SAP IT platform with warehouse management system (WMS) and material flow system were needed.
Supported by an automated, efficient and ergonomic logistics system, an expanded internal logistics installation aimed to achieve a higher storage capacity and double the number of shipping packages to 100,000 per day with customer delivery within 24 hours.
• Shuttle warehouse more than 200,000 storage locations.
• 6,000 in & 6,000 out tote storage and retrieval movements per hour.
• 21 Goods-Out checking workstations.
• Natrix despatch sorter, with telescopic boom conveyors, has throughput of 6,000 packages per hour.
TGW realised a solution consisting of a STINGRAY shuttle warehouse with more than 200,000 storage locations and a performance of 6,000 in & 6,000 out tote storage and retrieval movements per hour.
The process begins with goods arriving at Conrad’s distribution centre, before being transported to a re-packing area consisting of 36 workstations where the goods are put into totes to be safely transported through the facility.
Totes are then stored in the TGW STINGRAY shuttle warehouse where 375 shuttles serve three picking levels and 15 Goods-to-Person picking workstations each.
“In the distribution centre, two thirds of our operation serves online customers and the other third our international stores,” said Udo Hermannstädter, Head of Logistics at Conrad. “This is why 30 workstations are reserved for online orders and the other 15 stations take care of the stores. We wanted to use the existing footprint effectively, which is why we opted for picking operations across three levels.”
“The new picking area allows us to work more efficiently and with zero-error system tolerance we achieve remarkable picking performances. We have doubled our performance.”
Once the goods have been picked at the picking stations, they are transported to Goods-Out where they are weighed and then checked by a camera system. This is done at one of the 21 Goods-Out checking workstations before the cartons are finally sealed and labelled accordingly.
If Conrad has special promotions on any of its products, a single-order picking area becomes active. “When we have special offers on products that are then ordered in large amounts, such as flash drives or headphones, we outsource these to the single-order picking area. If the area is not used for these kind of orders, we use it during peak seasons as well,” Udo explains.
TGW’s Natrix sorter distributes the order cartons to the respective routes, where they are conveyed into trucks on telescopic boom conveyors. The new system achieves a performance of 6,000 packages per hour. “It enables us more flexibility in the dispatch organisation. With another 16 shipping gates, we can react flexibly,” continues Udo.
The 56million Euro investment in the new installation means that Conrad is able to continue its growth and prepare for a promising future.
“We expect further growth during the next year, and the expansion of our logistics facilities will definitely help us to pursue our strategy,” Udo Hermannstädter concludes.