GRASS Logistics Center: Best ideas for greenfield sites
22 February 2023, Company News
Kardex Mlog was commissioned as general contractor by the GRASS Group, a specialist systems supplier to the furniture industry. The task was to build a highly automated high-bay warehouse with approximately 38,800 pallet storage spaces in the Austrian town of Hohenems. The new plant was to feature fully automatic truck-unloading, efficient goods to-person picking with a picking buffer, and two goods issue buffers. The starting point for the ambitious construction project was an ideas competition.
Good experience with past projects
The distribution center with its approximately 38,800 pallet storage spaces was commissioned on June 1, 2020. As of today, it is the largest logistics construction project to completed in the Austrian state of Vorarlberg. The investment by GRASS totaled 70 million euros.
Unloading in just 90 seconds
Unloading trucks at the goods receipt area and the subsequent storage of approximately 800 pallets per day runs 100 percent automatically. The system can handle five different pallet types. The pallets are delivered as part of an in-plant transport directly from GRASS Group’s surrounding production locations. The company’s own semi-trailer trucks have special trailers where the truck bed has a conveying system sunk into the floor. When a truck docks, the mobile conveying system connects to the stationary conveying system and unloading begins – the pallets roll off the truck as if by magic. “Within about three minutes the trailer is empty, and the truck can continue its journey,” explains logistics manager René Malojer. Another advantage of this rapid unloading is the pallets received are available faster for the customers.
Ergonomically optimized picking stations
75 percent of the pallets stored leave the warehouse subsequently as full pallets. The remaining 25 percent serve as source pallets for goods-to-person picking, which takes place at two ergonomically optimized picking stations. These stations are located on a platform supplied with the source pallets from the ground floor via eight scissor lift tables. The picking personnel can access the source pallets at an optimal height for each layer and use vacuum lifters to place the packages on the target pallets. Each workstation is equipped with touch-sensitive safety mats to safeguard the operators during automatic moving of the source and target pallets. Empty pallets are provided automatically via pallet trucks and shuttle carriages. An integrated scale records the weight of the pallets. Each empty pallet is assigned a unique pallet ID.
Three buffer storage areas for replenishment and goods issue
Efficient, safe and transparent
Summary: With a range of good ideas and detailed planning, Kardex Mlog worked together with GRASS GmbH to construct a highly efficient and employee-friendly logistics center. With the largely automated material flow, the ergonomic picking process, and the three integrated buffer storage facilities, it was possible to reduce personnel requirements to 17 employees. At the same time, the quality and the speed of delivery were improved, and all workflows can now be tracked with full transparency.
Background: GRASS GmbH movement systems
About Kardex Mlog
Kardex Mlog (www.kardex.com), with its head office in Neuenstadt am Kocher, Germany, is one of the leading suppliers of integrated material flow systems and high-bay warehouses. The company has more than 55 years of experience in the planning, implementation and maintenance of fully automated logistics solutions. The three business sectors - Greenfield installations, Refurbishment, and After-sales service – draw upon its in-house manufacturing facility in Neuenstadt. Kardex Mlog is part of the Kardex Group and employs 305 people. In 2021 the company achieved revenues of €89 million.
For more information:
MLOG Logistics GmbH
74196 Neuenstadt am Kocher
Tel.: +49 7139 / 4893-536