VAHLE opens state-of-the-art automated miniload warehouse

  • Comprehensive modernization of production and logistics
  • Doubling of logistics area in miniload warehouse
  • Reduction of plant energy requirements by up to 25%

Vahle miniload

Kamen, Germany: PAUL VAHLE GmbH & Co. KG has opened one of the most modern material flow systems of its kind in Kamen. This marks the official end of the modernization of the warehouse, which cost €2.5 million. Effective immediately, order picking takes place automatically with the latest warehousing equipment made by Jungheinrich. Politicians, business people and administrators attended the official opening of the plant.

“With this investment, Vahle has catapulted into the future and created the foundation for the sustainable optimization of all upstream and downstream production processes,” says Achim Dries, CEO & Managing Director of Paul Vahle GmbH & Co. KG. The heart of the new system is an automated miniload warehouse with 7,314 storage locations. Boxes measuring 600 x 400 and 300 x 400 millimeters are stored double-deep or quadruple-deep and crosswise. These are serviced by what Jungheinrich views as the most powerful stacker crane of its class, which moves at a speed of six metres per second. A wide-aisle warehouse, cantilever racks for the storage of long goods and drive-through racking were also built. The logistics area nearly doubled through the modernization, to around 3,500 square metres.

“With the  Go Live of the miniload warehouse, VAHLE is the first company in the world to utilize the Miniload STC  which was introduced by Jungheinrich in 2018,” explains Jürgen Wagenknecht, the responsible project manager at Jungheinrich. It has energy storage devices called SuperCaps which are specially adapted to the stacker crane’s driving characteristics. These devices store the energy released during braking processes and feed it back into the drive system during acceleration. “This reduces our energy needs – in particular, the power required for the stacker crane compared to conventional systems – by up to 25%,” says Dries.

The VAHLE conductor bar system vConductor VKS 6 provides power transmission. “We have installed the best components that are currently available on the market,” says Dries. “In this way, we not only  ensure the performance of our miniload warehouse but also make it possible for our customers to see the conductor bar system live in action.” The system is also designed for maximum efficiency with regard to space utilization. By means of an innovative rail design and the drive system, which saves space through its integration in the mast base, the stacker crane realizes the smallest approach dimensions in its class. The result is less space required, with a simultaneous increase in warehouse capacity and higher throughput. In order to further increase the order picking performance in shipment logistics, a modern pick-to-light system was installed parallel to the automated miniload warehouse. It is connected to a drive-through rack for up to 600 fast-moving components. 

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