High-bay warehouse for Brauns-Heitmann: Optimizing the available space

10 October 2022, Company News


BH_Gesamt_web_Sabrina Metzger
Kardex Mlog was commissioned by Brauns-Heitmann, the household chemicals and decorative items company, to build a high-bay warehouse at its headquarters in Warburg in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. On a floor space of just 1,500 square meters, Kardex Mlog constructed a 40-meter high, silo-type, three-aisle high-bay warehouse with a capacity of 10,056 pallet storage spaces. As part of the project, Brauns-Heitmann’s logistical processes were optimized and a new warehouse management system was implemented. The tall but extremely narrow high-bay warehouse placed great demands on the planning and statics calculations. Following a construction period of 16 months, general contractor Kardex Mlog completed the project on time in June 2022. “Everything is running like clockwork,” confirms Stefan Kremin, Managing Director of Brauns-Heitmann.
Dyeing Easter eggs and textiles, decorating Christmas trees, waterproofing clothing, and disinfecting your hands: For these and other activities, many millions of households trust the products and brands of Brauns-Heitmann. The product range and demand have grown continually over the years, which meant that the requirement for storage space also grew. For several years, the company solved the problem by renting out storage premises and this naturally led to decentralization of logistics. It was against this backdrop that the idea arose at the turn of the year 2018/2019 to build a new high-bay warehouse at the company’s headquarters in Warburg in North Rhine-Westphalia. The purpose of the new facility: To receive and store the palletized goods from the existing filling and packaging lines of the production process and to stage the goods for shipping. Another function is the intermediate storage of packaging materials that are constantly required in production.

In the summer of 2020, following an intensive provider selection phase, Kardex Mlog was awarded the construction contract worth approximately 4.1 million euros. The deciding factors included Kardex Mlog’s extensive experience, the company’s specialist competencies as documented by multiple references and, not least, the recommendation from Dobülog Planungsgesellschaft, who were involved in creating the basic concept. As the general contractor, Kardex Mlog was responsible for the coordination and supply of all services ranging from the steel racking construction, including the roof covering and facade, through the conveying system and storage technology, right up to the warehouse management system.

Three aisles with 23 levels

Among the many particular challenges presented by the project was the fact that, for the new construction, only a very small construction space was available between a production building for detergents and a warehouse for Christmas articles. “We wanted to create more than 10,000 pallet storage spaces on a floor area of only 15 x 100 meters. To achieve this target, we had to build high, especially since the site was only wide enough to fit three aisles,” remembers Sales Manager Frank Labes of Kardex Mlog. To reach the desired capacity, Kardex Mlog created 23 racking levels, of which 11 permit a loading height of 1,050 mm and another 11 permit 1,650 mm. An additional level is suitable for pallets with a height of 2,000 mm. In each compartment, three load units of 1,000 kg each can be stored.

The total height of the warehouse is 40 meters, and this required appropriate large-scale stacker cranes. For these components, Kardex Mlog turned to its own highly specialized in-house production at the company headquarters in Neuenstadt am Kocher. For Brauns-Heitmann, three stacker cranes of type Kardex MSingle B 1000/40 ET with automatic control and camera systems were custom built. “ET” in this case stands for single deep and the number 1,000 represents the payload in addition to the operator. In mid-January 2022, a 400-metric-ton mobile crane was used to install the 39.16-meter tall machines in the high-bay warehouse via an opening in the roof. The stacker cranes allow a travel speed of up to 180 m/min and have an acceleration of 0.4 m/s². This facilitates approximately 35 double cycles or 57 single cycles for each stacker crane, which more than meets the current requirements. Currently, approximately 89 pallets are stored and retrieved each hour in Warburg –this takes place during 1.5-shift operation on 5 days per week between 6:45 am and 8:00 pm.

Four meters down

To ensure the stability of the tall building, the high-bay warehouse was inserted four meters into the ground and the silo structure was built on a high-load-bearing foundation slab. Due to the dimensions of the small construction site, the construction process demanded meticulous planning. Each stage of the process had to be completed “just in time” within a tight schedule. This was also the case for the entire roof and wall paneling and for the conveying technology with its 71 drives, connected to the goods receipt and goods issue areas.

“Through the entire period of this ambitious construction project, our collaboration with Kardex Mlog was very reliable, transparent and based on partnership,” says Andreas Schafmeister, who headed the project on the Brauns-Heitmann side. Some additional special requirements were also met: With its 40 meters, the new Brauns-Heitmann warehouse is the tallest industrial building in Warburg. With a nod to the many Christmas articles stored in the high-bay warehouse, it was decided to install a decorative and illuminated aluminum Christmas tree on the roof. The retaining device for the tree, which is designed to withstand the strongest winds, was also manufactured by Kardex Mlog.

Optimized material flow

The plant is controlled by programmable logic controllers (PLC) of type Siemens S7. Optimized material flows in the high-bay warehouse are ensured by the modular software solution Kardex Control Center including the Kardex WMS warehouse management system, the Kardex MFlow material flow system, and the Kardex MVisu plant visualization system. Using Kardex MVisu, the operators can graphically map the entire conveying technology and the stacker cranes and show their operating status. Administration of the article information within a material master takes place in the customer’s ERP in the CSB system. Any changes or amendments are transferred automatically to the Kardex Control Center.

The pallets that are staged in the various manufacturing lines and areas are received by forklift trucks and scanned manually. Load units for the high-bay warehouse are transported directly to the loading station. After the load units are placed on the conveying technology, they are transported automatically to the transfer point for the appropriate stacker crane. On the way there, the label of the pallet is scanned automatically. A profile control also checks the weight and dimensions and the space for the forks. Load units with excess dimensions or weights are discharged to a NIO processing station (NIO = Not In Order). There they can be corrected manually and then fed back into the system. As soon as the stacker crane has stored the load unit, the Kardex Control Center reports the completed order with its storage location number to the ERP system. As for the storage locations, there is currently a wide range available: The capacity of the new high-bay warehouse was designed with an eye to the future and it facilitates continuing growth for Brauns-Heitmann.

Summary: The new high-bay warehouse was the key to enabling Brauns-Heitmann to optimize and centralize their entire flow of goods on the company premises. This meant that the rented external storage locations could be dispensed with, and the various storage areas at the company premises could also be freed up. The floor space gained in this way is now available for the expansion of production.

Background: Brauns-Heitmann GmbH & Co. KG

Brauns-Heitmann develops, produces and distributes specialty products for household and laundry care, as well as decorative articles, food colorings and egg dyes. Since 1874, these high-quality products have brought freshness and color to households and they lead the market in a number of fields. Brauns-Heitmann sees itself as a medium-sized, traditional company and it employs 490 people. This means producing locally at the company headquarters in Warburg, Westphalia, and supporting Germany as a work and business location. For more information, see www.brauns-heitmann.de.

About Kardex Mlog

Kardex Mlog, with head office in Neuenstadt am Kocher, is one of the leading suppliers of integrated material flow systems and high-bay warehouses. The company has more than 50 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
Wilhelm-Maybach-Straße 2
74196 Neuenstadt am Kocher
Website: www.kardex.com

Press Officer:

Bettina Wittenberg
Tel.: +49 7139 / 4893-536