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Efficient retrieval of assembly sets

Efficient retrieval of assembly sets

The energy and automation technology company ABB employs around 6,500 people in Switzerland. Switchgear for power distribution in grids is manufactured at the company’s site in Zurich. The warehouse for the assembly tool pool contains around 1,000 different items, which amounts to an inventory of around 8,000 parts in total.

Kardex Remstar storage systems have been used in this area for quite a while. Around 20 automated storage lifts and vertical carousels have been gradually acquired over the years. The individual tools for the assembly sets are stored within them and retrieved at the touch of a button.

There used to be bottlenecks with assembly sets that weren’t yet fully picked. Until recently, they stood on pallets on static shelving, which gradually caused huge space- and retrieval-related problems.

Two Shuttle XP 1000 storage lifts have now been bought for the space-saving storage of pallets. Pallets with semi-picked tool sets wait in one of the units until all the items are available to complete the set. Most of the parts are supplied on a loan basis and include repair sets and high-quality measuring devices. They are returned to the warehouse after use and are initially temporarily stored in the second Shuttle XP 1000. Once the returns have been checked, the items find their way back to the parts warehouse.

The units are now operated between 20 and 50 times a day by one of the employees in the assembly tool pool. With the help of a touch screen and a tray extraction device, the pallets are moved into position to be picked up by a forklift truck or electric pallet truck so that they can be transported elsewhere. As such, time- and space-related problems are now a thing of the past.

The advantages of the solution at a glance:

  • Automated storage of pallets with double frames (height of stored goods: 950 mm)
  • Just-in-time retrieval of assembly sets for building sites all over the world
  • Space for 58 pallets on a footprint measuring just 18.94 square meters
  • Nine-meter-high storage units make optimal use of the hall height
  • Ergonomic retrieval of heavy pallets



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