Böllhoff Produktion GmbH, a global supplier of fastening, assembly, and system technology, has taken a significant step towards efficient intralogistics processes at its production site in Bielefeld. Through a partnership with intralogistics experts Kardex, BITO-Lagertechnik, and P.S. Cooperation, Böllhoff Produktion GmbH has implemented a fully automated and space-saving buffer storage solution. This innovative solution aims to address individual requirements and optimize assembly processes for increased efficiency.
The decision to integrate the Kardex solution was driven by the need to reduce floor space required for material replenishment, minimize search times and error rates, and centrally buffer finished goods. Currently, the production site stores replenishment bins directly on pallets, which leads to inefficiencies in space utilization and inventory management. With the Kardex solution, Böllhoff Produktion GmbH aims to streamline their assembly processes and enhance the transparency of their storage and retrieval operations.
Transparent Storage and Automated Retrieval of Production Parts
The heart of the implemented solution is the Kardex Compact Buffer, an extremely space-saving and fully automated buffer storage system. Equipped with four access openings, this solution seamlessly integrates with the conveyor technology and the LEO locative automated guided vehicle system (AGV) from BITO-Lagertechnik. Controlled via e-labels from P.S. Cooperation, the Kardex Compact Buffer allows for efficient storage and retrieval of production parts.
Each bin in the Kardex Compact Buffer has its own ID number and accompanying paper with detailed information such as article number, batch, and quantity. The bin information is captured by installed scanners, and the data is reported to the higher-level autonomous warehouse management system using the Kardex JMIF software. When needed in production, the employees can request the goods through the system via e-label, triggering a fully automated process of transferring the goods to the conveyor system. The LEO transporter then picks up the bins and transports them to the correct assembly machine.
Space-Saving Storage of Finished Parts
In addition to improving the efficiency of material replenishment, the Kardex solution also provides a space-saving storage method for finished parts. The two Kardex Compact Buffers can store approximately 1,900 bins on a small footprint of only 67 m². Finished parts are picked up by a BITO LEO transporter at the assembly machine and transported to the Kardex Compact Buffer for automated storage. Once a batch reaches a certain number of pieces, the system initiates automatic retrieval, facilitating efficient shipping preparation.
Streamlined Processes with BITO LEO Transporters
The transport routes between the production machines and the Kardex Compact Buffers are automated using nine LEO locative transporters from BITO. These transporters operate around the clock, with their lithium batteries being charged automatically. Each production machine is equipped with a LEO locative double station and a LEO Smart Box Pro. The LEO transporter navigates through the station, delivering and picking up bins seamlessly without human intervention. The BITO LEO system’s efficiency lies in its simple setup, operation, and efficient transfer system for bins.
The seamless integration of the LEO locative transfer stations with the conveyor technology of the Kardex Compact Buffer ensures automatic bin exchange with the system. Communication with the fire protection gates is facilitated through the LEO Smart Box Pro, preventing obstruction during a fire event.
“With the Kardex Compact Buffer, we have chosen a solution that enables us to store and retrieve our articles in a fully automated and centralized manner. The transparency, space savings, and process reliability will bring us enormous benefits and flexibility. ‘One-Peace-Flow’ – likewise a big step into the digital future.” – Dipl.-Ing. (FH) André Koring, Head of Intralogistics, Böllhoff Produktion GmbH
About Kardex Solution
Kardex is a leading provider of automated storage, retrieval, and material handling systems. With two divisions, Kardex Remstar and Kardex Mlog, Kardex aims to increase efficiency in storing and handling goods and materials on a global scale.
For more information, please visit www.kardex.com.