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Automatic storage and retrieval

  • ovidiu_admin
  • February 28, 2020

Automatic storage and retrieval

AFB prevents plant failures in the ALTERNATE logistics center

Nowadays it is customary to order shoes or consumer electronics with just a few clicks, using the Internet. ALTERNATE, a mail order company from Linden relied on this online trade from early on. The company reacted early in the mid-1990s, to the growing demand of hardware and software, as well as for home and entertainment electronics, ordered throughout the Internet. Today, the product range comprises on around 50.000 articles. In order to be able to guarantee a smooth process, ALTERNATE GmbH built a small part warehouse with connected commissioning and container conveyor technology in 1999. The two-aisle high bay warehouse offers space for 5.720 containers, in which different packaging units are stored. With the help of two storage and retrieval machines, employees have quick access to the desired parts.

However, in the meantime, the system had become outdated and the mechanics no longer met the desired requirements, resulting in frequent malfunctions. To bring it back up to date, ALTERNATE commissioned the intralogistics specialist TELOGS with a so called retrofit. In this process, the existing systems and equipment were brought up to date, by replacing the defective parts. AFB Anlagen- und Filterbau GmbH & Co. KG from Haiger was instructed to renew the load handling devices. These are used in logistics, to automatically store and retrieve euro pallets or containers. Logistics manager Markus Bau remembers: “Because the plant manufacturer no longer supplied spare parts, we were looking for a partner who could reproduce the load handling devices and also bring them up to date”. The new load handling devices had to be manufactured to fit exactly.

The old load handling device was measured first, then the distance between the containers and the attachment to the lifting frame. The new design was the most demanding and trickiest task of this project. “At this point, even the smallest design error can lead to difficulties during subsequent assembly”, explained AFB managing director Frederic Schneider.

The experienced load handling device manufacturer mastered this step of the project. Afterwards, the necessary profiles and individual parts were manufactured, followed by painting and the final assembly. Thanks to a good project preparation and despite a tight schedule, the production of the load handling device was carried out in due time. Since the retrofit was completely installed, the plant has the desired availability again and the throughput of goods has increased by 15 percent.

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