AutoStore

Unique solution for dangerous goods handling

At the Gennep site in the Netherlands, Arvato Supply Chain Solutions commissioned an AutoStore system with a capacity of 30,000 bin spaces and 36 robots for the growing online business of a customer from the cosmetics industry. And, for the first time, the storage of hazardous materials was integrated into the fully automated system according to a concept developed by Arvato.

At the beginning of the cooperation four years ago, two packing tables were still sufficient for order picking at the Venray site, where the orders have previously been processed. Due to the rapidly increasing quantities, 40 packing tables were recently commissioned there - without the additional business from peaks such as Black Friday or Christmas.

With the AutoStore solution now installed, the current quantities can be handled faster and more efficiently. The system is also designed for future growth and can be completely expanded in just six months if required.  "This takes our warehouse technology to a whole new level." explains Martijn Nielen, Managing Director at Arvato Supply Chain Solutions in The Netherlands.

"With our automation solution, which is scalable for other customers, we are further expanding our expertise in the Netherlands," says Martijn Nielen. "Our international customers in particular demand an extremely high level of service and key performance indicators in terms of safety, stock accuracy and process quality. Here we are one of the few companies in the Dutch logistics market that can support this - and AutoStore makes it even easier to meet these requirements."

The compact and robotic AutoStore system is equipped with one of the most advanced storage technologies, particularly suitable for e-commerce. All processes within the system are automated as far as possible.
The AutoStore project was implemented at Arvato Supply Chain Solutions in record time. After the project preparations, which took place from Q2 to Q4 2018, the implementation of the system began in early 2019 and was completed in only nine months, including the commissioning of the system.

The AutoStore Solution

The AutoStore is a storage technology without classic shelving. Rather, storage takes place via containers, so-called bins, which are stacked on top of each other within an aluminum construction (grid) without gaps. For this purpose, the grid is divided into block-shaped rectangular fields, each offering space for several bins. The storage and retrieval of these goods containers takes place via robot vehicles, which can move autonomously on rails on the top of the grid in all directions. In this way, each robot can access all containers and each bin can be brought to every workstation. The robots communicate via the control system through a special Wi-Fi network. .

To retrieve a bin from the system according to the picking order, the robot lowers its grippers into the stack, grips the bin and lifts it to the top of the grid and delivers it to a station. If a bin from a lower level is required, the robot temporarily digs out the bins stacked above it into free spaces in nearby other stacks. The bins will then be stacked back into the grid. Since the orders are prepared minutes before the presentation at the workstations (ports), the employee does not have to wait until a bin has been retrieved from a lower level of the grid.

After a requested bin has been presented at the port, it is placed back on top of a bin stack. Bins with frequently requested goods (fast-moving items) therefore remain on top, while less frequently required containers (slow-moving items) automatically sink to the bottom of the grid.

  • 36 Robots
  • 30,000 Containers
  • up to 25,000 order a day
  • 6 Pick Ports

With our AutoStore solution, we are also providing a premiere. For the first time, we have integrated dangerous goods storage into this storage technology.

Maurijn Hellenthal
Senior Logistics Engineer at Arvato Supply Chain Solutions

 

Arvato Supply Chain Solutions has developed a unique concept for an AutoStore system, having two special bunker units for hazardous goods of classes 2 (gases) and 3 (flammable liquids) that areintegrated into the system.

The products such as deodorants, perfumes or nail polish removers that correspond to these dangerous goods classes can therefore also be handled easily via the AutoStore system.

All requirements of the PGS-15 regulations for the storage of dangerous goods in the Netherlands are met. Arvato worked closely with five different authorities, insurance instances and certification instances who were involved in the approval process for the innovative dangerous goods solution for the AutoStore system.

Global logistics network

The Gennep site is part of the global network, the consistent expansion of which is one of Arvato Supply Chain Solutions' strategic priorities. With 85 locations in 20 countries and more than 15,000 employees, this network offers scalable infrastructures and a high degree of flexibility to help customers grow in their focus markets while at the same time giving them fast access to new international markets.

Numerous global companies use the logistics centers in Arvato Supply Chain Solutions' Dutch logistics network as a gateway to Europe, from where they distribute their products to other countries. For example, goods can be shipped across Europe from centrally located Gennep within just 48 hours. Arvato's customers in the Netherlands mainly include manufacturers from the high-tech, consumer products, beauty & fashion and healthcare segments.