The agricultural machinery manufacturer CLAAS recently officially opened the automatic high-bay warehouse implemented by Unitechnik Systems GmbH in Hamm-Uentrop, Westphalia. After a two-year planning and construction period, the project with an investment volume of over 20 million euros was put into operation as planned at the end of January. The expansion at the existing location optimises with immediate effect the worldwide spare parts logistics for the internationally leading manufacturer of agricultural machinery.
For Unitechnik, it was the largest project ever realised in Germany in the company's 47-year history: The new automatic high-bay warehouse from CLAAS offers space for 58,000 pallets and mesh pallets on approx. 11,700 square metres. A total of around 200,000 different spare parts for combine harvesters, tractors, forage harvesters, forage harvesting technology, telescopic handlers, wheel loaders and balers are stored in Hamm-Uentrop. The nine-aisle warehouse in silo design is 30 metres high and stocks parts such as filters, bolts and hoses. A total of 2,200 tons of steel and more than 400,000 bolts were used in the steel construction of the high-bay warehouse. Nine storage and retrieval machines as well as 350 metres of electric monorail and floor conveyor technology bring the logistics system to life.
"Our growing product range and thus also the increasing number of spare parts had made the expansion necessary. We are very satisfied with the result and the handling by Unitechnik Systems GmbH. It speaks in favour of the project management that we were able to complete the construction on schedule", explains Dietmar Düsing, Head of Logistics and Member of the Executive Board of CLAAS Service and Parts GmbH.
Via the central spare parts warehouse, CLAAS handles both orders that are needed on the combine harvester in the field as quickly as possible and replenishment deliveries for warehouses of CLAAS sales companies and importers. In order to meet the high demands of the agricultural industry, the warehouse works in three shifts seven days a week. Seasonal peaks include harvesting operations in late summer and autumn.
Equipped for the future
A challenge in agricultural machinery spare parts logistics is the high diversity and variance of parts: many machines are manufactured in small quantities to customer specifications. Electronic components are increasingly used, but also large and bulky finished products. The expansion not only offers additional storage space, but also enables comprehensive restructuring of the warehouse processes. In order to be able to cope with the increasing order volume in the future, CLAAS has already provided for expansion options at the planning stage.
Here you can take a look at the new logistics centre: