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Calling the Commissioner

18 March 2013

Dynamic TGW order buffer system optimises processes for component manufacturer and distributor.

Dynamic TGW order buffer system optimises processes for component manufacturer and distributor

Automated warehouse solution provider TGW Logistics has delivered a dynamic order buffer system for Böllhoff.

Headquartered in Bielefeld in Germany, Böllhoff is a world leader in the manufacture and distribution of metal and plastic fasteners and joining solutions. To be able to optimally handle its many operational processes, the company analysed its logistics operations with an external consultant and then invested in an automated system, which was designed, supplied and installed by TGW.

TGW implemented its Commissioner automated storage and retrieval system (AS/RS) at Böllhoff's headquarters last year. The solution, which also consisted of new conveyor equipment, was integrated into Böllhoff's existing materials handling system. The new equipment worked in tandem with the existing conveyor system allowing the company to handle thousands of tote movements every day and optimise multiple areas of the logistics centre.

"Today, the goods receiving, order picking and shipping areas work independently from each other," explains Sebastian Rose, technical director at Böllhoff. "The Commissioner storage buffer ensures that overloading on one area does not negatively influence the operations in other areas." In addition to isolating these processes, the solution has maximised the hourly storage and retrieval rate while using significantly less energy than the conveyor loop buffer that was used previously.

To ensure Böllhoff's daily operations were unaffected during the installation, TGW engineers erected the conveyor system and inserted the Commissioner lifting beams outside of normal operating hours. TGW also mapped the complex strategies for the flexible retrieval of orders from the buffer using its own warehouse control software CI_LOG, which it interfaced with Böllhoff's own WMS.

Since going into live operation, TGW's automated solution has succeeded in increasing productivity across Böllhoff's entire logistics centre.