ATS Group doubles warehouse performance with the Kardex Compact Buffer

5 October 2023, Company News

ATS Group has elevated its warehouse operations to new heights by implementing the cutting-edge Vertical Buffer Module Kardex Compact Buffer (VBM) technology. This innovative solution has significantly enhanced efficiencies in both storage and distribution, enabling the ATS Group to optimize its operations and achieve remarkable results. 
ATS Group, headquartered in Merelbeke, Belgium, is a multidisciplinary technology group that provides high-quality services and products across various industries. In 2019, due to tremendous growth, they were working against increasing demand and with limited space. As a result, ATS Group needed to restructure its main distribution center to provide storage and processing for the small electronic components distributed to group projects and end customers. 
They partnered with Kardex to upgrade their warehouse operations by replacing static shelving and traditional warehouse picking with an automated intralogistics solution. Kardex designed a system offering automatic inbound with eight VBMs, pick-to-light and put-to-light technology and conveyors. Kardex JMIF software was integrated with ATS Group's WMS and ERP system. After implementing the automated system, ATS Group elevated their warehouse operations, saved more than half the floor space, increased throughput from 500 to 900 orders daily and only required a third of the workforce. Now, the Group stores and processes 13,000 articles in their 4,350 m² distribution center, with 40% of the articles managed in the 400 m² Kardex zone. The solution reduced the walking distance significantly and improved operators' performance, comfort and ergonomics.  
"We had a good experience working with Kardex; from the project's beginning to the installation's end, we had one direct contact who was always available to us. The installation teams worked to schedule, working safely and effectively. So, we are pleased that we have a very effective, high-performing warehouse that can handle the growing number of orders." explains Kevin Mortier, Project Manager at ATS Group.  

The VBM offers high picking performance and flexibility for automatic inbound 

The VBM is a cost-effective mini-load system where standard Euro bins can be stored and handled automatically. From all the options, the VBM was selected as the main driver of the project with its high performance, scalability and flexible system integration. It can deliver picking workstations or conveyor connections on three different sides of the machines at all heights. 
At ATS Group, one order picking workstation (turntable) is installed on the base floor per machine. On top of this, a mezzanine floor is installed where the replenishment with conveyors runs automatically in and out of the VBM. The automatic material flow is connected via Kardex JMIF and seamlessly incorporated into the WMS/ERP system. 
The VBM's powerful retrieval and picking performance and the automatic inbound system ensure operators pick articles quickly and accurately. In addition, the pick-to-light and put-to-light technology enhances the operators performance by aiding them with laser beams during the picking & putting process. Today, ATS Group has increased their efficiency and productivity with Kardex's scalable system, which will take them into the future. 


About ATS Group

ATS Group, headquartered in Merelbeke, Belgium, is a multidisciplinary technology group that provides high-quality services and products across various industries. The company focuses on electrical & automation projects, mechatronics, HVAC & energy solutions, and wholesale of electrical components.

About Kardex 

Kardex is a leading intralogistics solution provider of automated storage, retrieval, and material handling systems. With two entrepreneurially managed divisions, Kardex Remstar and Kardex Mlog, the Kardex mission is to provide solutions and services to increase the efficiency in storing and handling of goods and materials on a global scale. 
The two divisions serve as partners over the entire life cycle of a customer's product or solution. From project analysis to realization and service, Kardex helps improve a customer's performance every step of the way. With three production plants in Germany and one in North America, Kardex ensures high quality solutions. To maintain and strengthen its competitive position within technological innovation and outstanding customer loyalty, Kardex invests in research and development, its supply chain, the expansion of its service organization as well as in new technology via acquisitions. Kardex actively partners with global leaders who share the same values and complement the Kardex solutions including AutoStore, Rocket Solution, Intertex, and Sumobox. 

Kardex employs 2,000 team members across 30 countries and has installed over 140,000 industry-specific solutions worldwide.


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