NEWSBYTE German intralogistics firm Jungheinrich has automated a Schweinfurt-based production facility for German car parts maker ZF, according to an announcement from the company.

The end-to-end flow of materials from storage to production supply at the factory, which manufacturers eight-speed automatic transmissions, has been completely automated via an integrated solution, installation of which is now complete.

Previously, the high-bay warehouse contained nearly 1,000 individual storage locations spread over five aisles, including cages, large plastic crates, and pallets, on racks that were over six metres high.

Materials were brought in by hand, though a security door, and loaded onto human-operated forklifts.

In the upgraded facility, Jungheinrich has installed area access control, conveyor systems, and automatic scanning.

Core to the new automated system are driverless, narrow-aisle trucks – EKX and EKX 516ka models – which are capable of moving items autonomously 24/7, powered by rails in the floor as well as by battery.

“Thanks to inductive steering and its short design, the EKX 516ka is perfect for precise navigation in narrow aisles,” explained Susanne Zitzmann, project lead at Jungheinrich.

According to the announcement, notification about stacking and picking takes place directly and without manual scanning from the forklift to the warehouse management system.

Jungheinrich also supplied ZF with a Warehouse Control System featuring an integrated material flow calculator.

“One of the main reasons we chose Jungheinrich was exactly this all-inclusive package,” said Dominik Hüllmantel, project lead at ZF. “The EKX 516a-operated rack warehouse is an efficient solution for us, given the complexity of our processes and the limited availability of space.”

Hamburg-based Jungheinrich AG was founded in 1953. It employs 18,000 people worldwide and last year announced revenues of €3.8 billion ($4.39 billion).

Source: Press release