The WKS Group, with 335 employees one of the leading web offset printing companies in Europe, realizes together with the Klinkhammer Group a new automated dispatch warehouse for magazines, catalogues and brochures in the high-volume sector at its Wassenberg site, Germany. The conceptual development and implementation is managed by Klinkhammer, the intralogistics specialist. By implementing the new dispatch warehouse, the storage space will be increased considerably and the growth of the WKS Group guaranteed by a capacity buffer.
Objectives and requirements to the automated warehouse
“We are investing around €40m in production systems and logistics. Thanks to the new warehouse we will increase storage capacity considerably and substitute manual processes in the block storage by automated processes to expand our logistics quality and efficiency” outlines Dr. Ralph Dittmann, MD of the WKS Group. Sebastian Schmitz, project manager of the WKS Group adds: “When processing almost 275,000 tons of paper a year, clearly structured processes, a sequenced stock removal for the comprehensive planning of the truck trips and a networked warehouse management system are indispensable. Beyond that, also the process reliability and performance in the dispatch warehouse is considerably enhanced by the automation solution.” With the new automated warehouse solution, designed by the Klinkhammer Group, the WKS Group consistently pursues the objective to align to the needs and requirements of the customers and to combine latest technology in such a way that economic and ecological requirements are combined.
Automated high-bay warehouse in silo-type design
Due to high growth rates, an automated pallet high-bay warehouse with four aisles is planned to ensure the required storage capacity and warehouse performance. A bridge connects the materials handling components to the already existing building. With a pallet loading height of 1 to 2 meters, a total number of 10,272 storage locations are available in the double-deep high-bay warehouse with a retrieval capacity of up to 160 pallets per hour. With this space-saving, cost-optimized silo-type design, the heatinsulating facade is directly mounted to the shelving.
Sequenced loading and sequenced stock removal speed up shipping
The WKS Group is in charge of the entire distribution of the print objects and ships them, depending on requirements, directly to the recipient. Thanks to a sequenced stock removal from the high-bay warehouse, the pallets belonging to one and the same truck trip are already made available in the correct order sorted by the unloading points. Digitalization and automation here offer a considerable savings potential. To be able to satisfy short-term customer requests, WKS is also able to interact manually.
Conveyor technology bridge across the industrial road links production and warehouse
An industrial road situated directly between the new warehouse and the production building is over-built by a conveyor bridge. The stretch-wrapped pallets from the production are handed over to the conveyors at a doubledeep loading position close to the floor. This allows loading two pallets at a time with one hand lift truck or fork lift truck run. Subsequently, the pallets are transported to the high-bay warehouse via the bridge by means of accumulated roller conveyors. In parallel, a conveyor section has been also planned for the return transport of pallets. A checkpoint for verifying the con-tours and a possible excess weight ensures that the pallets are stored smoothly without problems.
Warehouse Management System KlinkWARE® – the interface in the automated warehouse
An interface links the Warehouse Management System KlinkWARE® to the higher-level ERP system and provides the warehouse management system with in-house product, tour and transport jobs. KlinkWARE® optimizes and coordinates the jobs to be accomplished and transfers the transport orders to the material flow control system. When selecting the aisles and storage locations in case of a doubledeep storage strategy, it is considered exactly to which tour the pallet belongs. At the same time, the height class of a pallet is taken into account and storage takes place such to be optimized. This way, the software ensures a perfect interaction of all warehouse and shipping movements.