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30/10/2014 New spare parts logistics centre for Liebherr construction machines in Oberopfingen (Kirchdorf an der Iller, Germany)
- Global supply of spare parts for Liebherr earthmoving machines from start of 2015
- Highly modern logistics facility enables an output of up to 3,500 spare parts per hour
- Investment value of 115 million euros
The Liebherr Group has set-up a new logistics centre in July 2013 in Oberopfingen by Kirchdorf an der Iller (Baden-Württemberg). From early 2015, this will be the base from which spare parts for Liebherr earth moving machinery will be supplied around the world. In the long term, spare parts logistics for additional construction machinery will also find its home here. The investment value for the first stage of construction is in excess of 115 million euros.
The first phase of building will be finalised at the end of 2014. This construction phase covers, along other things, site development, the erection of a logistics warehouse over an area of approx. 47,000m² as well as the construction of a separate office building. Commissioning of the logistics area will take place in the first quarter of 2015.
In the final extension phase, a site measuring 360,000m², a warehouse space of about 170,000m² and also an office building covering 4,500m² will be available. A future concept specifically planned for spare parts logistics makes allowance for an additional space directly next to the new logistics centre of 47,000m² to mirror the new logistics warehouse. This secures optimal scalability at this site for years to come.
The site in the municipality of Kirchdorf an der Iller to the south of the suburb Oberopfingen offers direct access to the federal motorway 7 via highway 312. Moreover, the site is very central in relation to the large Liebherr production facilities for construction machines in South Germany, Austria and France, which are all easy to reach via the road network. Aside from the good road connection, further expansion of the available area was a contributory factor during selection of the new logistics site.
High shelving system with more than 60,000 pallet spaces
The warehouse completed during the first construction phase offers a total of 46,800m² for spare parts. For the efficient storage of Liebherr spare parts, an automatic 36m high shelving system was erected in nine aisles with 60,390 pallet spaces. An energy-efficient pallet loading and unloading device is used to pick and place the spare parts.
With a further 29,380 manual pallet spaces, the innovative small parts warehouse with a total of 122,000 box spaces forms the core element of the intralogistics centre. This automatic box warehouse with eight aisles across and eight aisles down has a special modular layout. This technology is the basis for a high level of safety against failure as well as maximum performance. Initially, the box warehouse will have an output of 1,200 boxes per hour to the eight commissioning areas attached to it. When at its full potential with 24 commissioning areas, the output is in excess of 3,500 spare parts per hour.
When commissioned from the box warehouse, the items are packaged using a so-called pick and pack procedure, where the ordering structure permits. The flow of goods is automated using conveyor technology for the boxes as well as a large number of dispatch-ready packaged items throughout the warehouse. There are additional ergonomic workstations for customer-specific commissioning in the hall and, last but not least, sufficient space in and around the hall for surface storage of large and heavy components.
Professional spare parts logistics, high level of safety against failure
Orders from different areas of the warehouse are collected in a specially arranged commissioning zone. Seamlessly linked to this are fifteen packing belts and the dispatch areas for the 22 dock levellers. The spare parts are then loaded onto trucks and vans from these points.
In the automated warehouse systems, as well as on the conveyor technology, preventative maintenance and repair in the event of individual system failure, will be possible while the system is in operation. The logistics software makes allowance for the redundancy of IT systems. To safeguard the goods and to avoid complete failure of the system as a result of fire, a high investment in state-of-the-art fire protection technology was made.
Special attention was paid by the Liebherr logistics technicians from the dedicated service organisation to shorten the order processing times. This facilitates the reliable dispatch of goods on the same day for many European countries even if the order is received late from the sales organisations. Other service features are the use of modern picking and placing methods such as FiFo (First-in-First-out) and the batch-specific storage of all delivery positions.
Removal and trial operation well underway
The first stage towards productive operation of the new logistics centre starts with implementation. Primarily, the five external warehouses that currently exist will be consolidated in the manual warehouse area of the new site. Shutting down the external warehouses will bring about an immediate improvement in the dispatch of spare parts due to the reduction in movements. This process will be completed by the end of November 2014.
From November 2014 until March 2015 (expected), the spare parts operations will then move from its current warehouse site to the new logistics centre in Oberopfingen. Up until the end of 2014, the main site for the international dispatch of spare parts will remain at the existing warehouse in Kirchdorf. From the start of 2015, the main dispatch site will change to the new logistics centre.
By March 2015, reorganisation of the parts arrangement, involving more than 100,000 different spare parts, will then be complete. The main objective during the move as well as during start-up in the new logistics centre will be smooth processing of the 1,600 spare parts orders that are received on a daily basis - with 6,000 order positions - to customers without errors.