06/22/2015 Liebherr opens new logistics centre at Oberopfingen, Germany

  • Spare parts supplies for the Earthmoving Equipment division will be managed from a new central location, and other construction machinery divisions are set to follow
  • Modern technology guarantees reliable supplies for Liebherr customers
  • Ideal connections to transport infrastructure and major Liebherr production facilities

Around 1,000 guests attended the opening ceremony of the Liebherr Group's new logistics centre on 19 June 2015 at Oberopfingen, Germany. From the district of Kirchdorf an der Iller, the family-run company will in the future supply customers around the world with spare parts for earthmoving machines.

The new Liebherr logistics centre at Oberopfingen near Kirchdorf an der Iller

The new Liebherr logistics centre at Oberopfingen near Kirchdorf an der Iller

The logistics centre is the new central hub from which Liebherr customers around the world will be supplied with spare parts for wheeled and crawler excavators, wheel loaders, crawler tractors and other earthmoving machines. Until 2013, the management of spare parts supplies was more decentralised. In view of the growing product range and increasingly complex material flows, Liebherr decided to centralise its system, initially organising it from smaller, existing warehouses. In mid-2013, the company finally began to build the new, larger and more modern logistics centre.

Martin Barth, managing director of Liebherr-Logistics GmbH (right), and logistics manager Kilian Ribhegge

Martin Barth, managing director of Liebherr-Logistics GmbH (right), and logistics manager Kilian Ribhegge

“Our customer now get their spare parts faster,” explains Martin Barth, managing director of the operating company Liebherr-Logistics GmbH. “This important step guarantees that we will remain competitive in the future.” Around 1,000 guests at the opening ceremony – including the Liebherr family – were given an insight into the technology, proportions and processes. In his address, Dr. Heiko Schmid, district chief executive of the Biberach district, stressed the importance of the Liebherr Group for the region and welcomed the decision to strengthen existing commitments with new logistics centre.

Manual warehouse area and shipping at the new Liebherr logistics centre at Oberopfingen

Manual warehouse area and shipping at the new Liebherr logistics centre at Oberopfingen

Fully automated material flow and maximum supply reliability

The new central warehouse has an area of 47,000m² – about the size of six football pitches – space for about 100,000 different spare parts for the Earthmoving Equipment division. Parts are taken into and out of stock in the automatic warehouse areas - which can be up to 36m high - by energy-efficient operating machines. The responsible persons at Liebherr-Logistics GmbH employ extremely short throughput times: “Our modern warehouse technology and order picking systems make it possible to ship 1,600 individual orders to many European countries – almost all of them on the day the order is received,” explains Martin Barth. Redundant IT systems, the ability to conduct preventative maintenance work during ongoing operations and modern fire prevention measures guarantee maximum supply reliability.

Spare parts are automatically moved on roller conveyors.

Spare parts are automatically moved on roller conveyors.

Strategically important location, best transportation connections and future potential

The location at Oberopfingen was chosen deliberately. Not only is the site directly next to the A7 autobahn, it is also in the immediate neighbourhood of the major production site for Liebherr earthmoving machines at Kirchdorf an der Iller. Other plants from the construction machinery and components divisions in France, Austria and Switzerland are also not far away. “We considered, analysed and evaluated various locations for the warehouse,” Martin Barth continues. “In the end, Oberopfingen was the favourite.” In the final expansion phase in a few years time, the site should grow to a total of 360,000m², or more than 50 football pitches, and hall space will be created to secure the logistics processes for the decades ahead. In the long term, the Liebherr Group is planning to merge the spare parts logistics of other construction machinery divisions in Oberopfingen.