A new practical helper in the warehouse
The task the logistics team was given sounded simple – increase storage space from the current 1,639 pallet spaces by at least another 400 spaces. Finding a suitable and effective solution required more minds and ideas. For this reason, a working group was formed consisting of representatives from logistics and purchasing in Bytča and Mönchengladbach. Finally, an external solution from the manufacturer Gekkon called ‘Mobile Shelving System’ won the day. Thanks to this system, 877 new pallet spaces were created in the so-called cold hall (i.e. warehouse without heating system, located next to the production hall in Bytča) and the total storage capacity in Bytča was increased to 2,516 pallet spaces.
The mobile shelving system used in Bytča consists of 4 rows of movable undercarriages. On each undercarriage there are 2 static racks with 4 levels and 228 pallet spaces. The undercarriages are equipped with rail technology that enables relatively fast entry and exit. Between the 2 mobile undercarriages, a 4 m wide aisle is created by moving them sideways, in which the warehouse staff have enough space to maneuver the forklift truck to pick up or store the required material. When the forklift moves out, the employee carefully checks the aisle, observing all safety precautions, and then manually confirms the function of moving the respective shelf together. After safely leaving the room, the corridor is closed.
- Minimal structural changes:
To build this system, it was necessary to increase the load-bearing capacity of the existing concrete floor from 500 kg/m2 to 1,000 kg /m2. A 7 cm thick layer of a special mixture of concrete and densit was applied, in which the rails for moving the shelves were also fixed.
- Maximum cost efficiency:
This solution was the most economical, as neither a new warehouse had to be built nor did the static shelves needed moving closer together. The cost of an additional pallet space was no more than € 350, which is what it costs to rent a pallet space in an external warehouse for 1.5 years.
- Sufficient storage space:
Thanks to the expansion of storage capacities, it will no longer be necessary to transport goods from suppliers closer to the Slovakian branch first to Mönchengladbach and then back to Bytča. Step by step, logistics will become more local and efficient.
At the same time, the capacity for storing so-called slow movers, i.e. materials that are only used sporadically in production but are necessary for our contract production, was increased. In addition, the facility management department also found space here to store its equipment and material.
- High safety standard:
The system meets the highest safety requirements. It can be controlled either automatically, semi-automatically or manually – in the manual mode, however, two staff members are required to control the system. One controls the system via a controller located on the shelves, the other simultaneously operates the control cabinet. There are several sensors and different types of fuses in the system that can detect any unwanted object or movement in the rail area. In such cases, the system stops immediately. After restarting, the system will only operate at half speed, allowing the operator to thoroughly check the area and detect an obstacle that he did not notice before.
- Certified customs warehouse:
One of the functions of the system is that a mobile double shelf can be locked and only selected employees can access the goods. The logistics department in Bytča used this function to create a customs warehouse, which is one of the conditions for obtaining the Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) certificate. This certificate is issued by the customs administration after thoroughly examining the financial health, physical security and control of goods from production to storage and transport. The AEO holder is considered a high-quality and reliable partner in international trade. Scheidt & Bachmann Slovensko is currently undergoing the certification process (approval is expected in October 2022), so completed equipment orders can be shipped directly to customers and do not have to be shipped to Mönchengladbach and then on to customers.
- Expanding into the future: The advantage of this system is that the storage capacity can be increased in the future by adding more mobile shelves. Narrowing the aisle between the shelves to 1.9 m creates an additional 456 pallet spaces. In this case, however, it is necessary to acquire a special manipulation vehicle.