Kardex Remstar Improves Storage Precision at Schölly

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Kardex Remstar automated a new facility for Schölly with Shuttle XP Vertical Lift Modules.

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Kardex Remstar has recently automated Schölly’s intralogistics set-up. High-end products from the company help surgeons perform minimally invasive operations. This newly automated facility has improved Schölly’s process efficiency.

Minimally invasive surgery offers a number of benefits for patients. They experience less pain, recover more quickly and as a result, can go home sooner. With its 3D technology, Schölly makes the hidden body visible and more easily accessible for a conservative surgical procedure. Visualization devices such as “EinsteinVision” and “Da Vinci System” help surgeons throughout the world to perform their work. Other sectors, including automotive, electronics and aviation industries, also value the endoscopy equipment supplied by the company.

The reason behind the intralogistics project was the extraordinary growth. “Since 2003 our turnover has grown very dynamically from 17 million euros back then to around 80 million in 2012. By expanding the number of production facilities – including internationally – it was also necessary to expand the logistics operation. The idea behind the new building was to link production to an efficient intralogistics set-up in an optimal way,” said Harald Haigis, managing director of the company.

The logistics operation in the new factory now consists of the following major sections: incoming goods, putting/retrieval with four Shuttle XP 250 Vertical Lift Modules (VLM), each with two access points across two levels, standard shelving, packaging and shipping. During the planning phase, the partners Cosinus Informationssysteme, responsible for the ERP software Navision, and Kardex Remstar, responsible for the dynamic storage solutions worked closely together.

At present, around 80 deliveries with a total of around 180 different items arrive at the incoming goods section daily. After quality control, employees, also known as pickers, take delivery of the small-volume parts. They count, weigh, pack and label the delivery. “The picker subsequently scans in products such as mini lenses for “EinsteinVision.” In accordance with defined storage rules, the Power Pick Global software then allocates a free place for these parts on a tray in a Shuttle XP. In doing so, the software records the serial and charge numbers depending on the article category. The VLM starts moving almost simultaneously in order to transport the tray to the respective access opening shortly afterwards. “A spot of light shows the picker precisely where the lenses should be placed on the tray,” explained Volker Müller from Kardex Remstar. The employee then confirms the putting of the goods and the warehouse management software records the entry and forwards this information to the Navision ERP software.

Goods are picked for production in the opposite direction. Once the production planners have approved the production orders, these are transferred to the warehouse management software via the database interface. Pickers put together batches from individual orders to increase efficiency. By doing so, they can combine up to 21 orders and process them simultaneously. Once a batch has been started, employees stand by at the same time to place the optically marked parts taken from the Shuttle XP into the picking cart linked via Wi-Fi. LED displays on the shelves of these carts inform the pickers which order the removed parts belong to.

Depending on the amount of work, several employees across two floors can operate the four Shuttle XPs by means of multi-user picking. To do this, every picker is dynamically assigned a color, which shows them where to place the material using a pick-by-light system on the Shuttle XP and multicolored LED displays on the picking carts.

“With this intralogistics solution, we handle an average of up to 800 putting and retrieval orders every working day. On one particular day we even processed 900 items,” said project manager Petra Herr. Around six months after the project began, Schölly moved its small parts storage set-up to the new storage lifts in about three days. Approximately 4,700 components, assembly groups, and small finished products are currently stored in the four Shuttles.

The new logistics processes have proved a success on a daily basis. They are able to keep up with the ongoing strong growth at the Schölly group of companies. Furthermore, the automated intralogistics solution from Kardex Remstar also takes into account Schölly’s high standards in relation to safe, transparent, and, traceable processes.

Kardex Remstar, LLC, a company of the Kardex Group is a leading provider of automated storage and retrieval systems for manufacturing, distribution, warehousing, offices and institutions. For information about our dynamic storage solutions, call 800-639-5805 or visit http://www.kardexremstar.com.

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Chelsea Tarr
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