Over the past year, Grenzebach and GEODIS, a top-rated, global supply chain operator, have been engaged in a joint project setting up a Grenzebach Goods-to-Person solution for a large consumer electronics customer. The Goods-to-Person solution has been installed at GEODIS’ Nashville, TN campus. It features Grenzebach L600 Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs), mobile storage units (MSUs) and picking stations as well as software. The project has been run as a pilot program, designed to make the jobs of GEODIS teammates easier, safer and more productive. Following the success of the pilot program, GEODIS is now introducing Grenzebach AGV solutions to additional clients.
Optimized warehouse operations: “Pick functions will nearly double”
“The goal for working with Grenzebach is to make our teammates jobs easier and safer by minimizing travel while also increasing picking efficiency and accu-racy—and we’re seeing tremendous results already,” said Eric Douglas, GEODIS Executive Vice President of Engineering and Technology. “We’re estimating pick functions will nearly double and that training time for new employees will be re-duced by more than 50 percent. This is critical for our clients who need to meet the rapid pace of today’s consumer demands.”
The Goods-to-Person solution optimizes warehouse operations by both speeding up processing and saving space. The L600 AGVs lift, move and present mobile storage units at picking stations where teammates remain stationary as opposed to walking the warehouse and pulling a pick cart. Thus, travel paths for team-mates are minimized and a safer work environment is provided. The picking sta-tions can be used for both order picking and replenishment. They provide teams with a number of tools to support an efficient, reliable and accurate picking pro-cess. For example, pick-by-light technology indicates to the employee which item to select for the orders currently being picked and points out the respective “on-shelf” storage position. Put-to-light technology indicates in which box picked items need to be placed. This not only speeds up picking but also helps reduce errors. Currently, the solution helps with order picking for the customer’s retail stores. In the future, it is expected to be implemented for orders from their online shop that are directly shipped to consumers.
Constant improvement, maximum flexibility
A Warehouse Execution System (WES), also part of the Grenzebach solution, makes the warehouse “think for itself”. The software knows which goods are be-ing stored and where, allocates the work intelligently and translates it into travel assignments for the L600 AGVs. This smooth process is constantly being refined through integrated Artificial Intelligence (AI).
Vehicles are interchangeable and can be added or removed at any time. Thanks to this flexibility, customers can dynamically react to variations in their workload and scale the implemented solution accordingly. If peaks occur, e.g. due to sea-sonality or unexpected situations like the current Covid-19 Pandemic, more AGVs can easily be added. Also, the system can still be operated manually, e.g. in case of a power failure. Compared to manual operation, the AGV solution also allows for a denser storage configuration which helps customers saving space.
Grenzebach is a leading automatization solution provider for the global glass, building material and intralogistics market. In addition, the company develops new application areas, such as Friction Stir Welding, the automatization of industrial additive manufacturing and digital networking. The digiti-zation platform SERICY allows customers to develop their own future-proof digital know-how. Grenzebach ranks among the international technology leaders in its markets. The global manufac-turing footprint with production sites in Germany, Romania, the US and China, as well as additional worldwide locations ensure customer support on-site. More than 3,000 systems installed in more than 55 countries stand for quality and reliability. Since the company opened its doors 60 years ago, it has been owned by the founding family. With an export ratio of more than 90 percent, Grenzebach is a global player.
GEODIS is a top-rated, global supply chain operator recognized for its passion and commitment to helping clients overcome their logistical constraints. GEODIS’ growth-focused offerings (Supply Chain Optimization, Freight Forwarding, Contract Logistics, Distribution & Express, and Road Transport) coupled with the company’s truly global reach thanks to a direct presence in 67 coun-tries, and a global network spanning 120 countries, translates in top business rankings, #1 in France, #4 in Europe and #7 worldwide. In 2018, GEODIS accounted for over 41,000 employees globally and generated €8.2 billion in sales.
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