Perfect mechanics for WITRON systems
The company FAS FörderAnlagen Systeme GmbH, founded in 1996, has belonged to the WITRON Group since 2005. Besides the production plants in Saarbruecken and Parkstein, a new facility in Parkstein has been producing top-quality mechanical components on an area of 18,000 m2 since autumn 2010. With the opening of the new production plant equipped with state-of-the-art technology, WITRON is able to further increase the customer’s benefits in terms of quality, availability, and investment security.
Speed of innovation, coupled with specific performance and quality demands, required WITRON to take control of the development and production of the mechanics used in their logistics systems. In spite of the global crisis, WITRON invested in a new production building and state-of-the-art manufacturing equipment in 2009/2010, and more importantly, provided new jobs and apprenticeships. FAS employs more than 140 employees and has a total manufacturing area of 25,000 m2. Aesthetically, the new plant is designed to reflect Parkstein’s rural landscape, mirroring the timber-frame construction and pavilion style of WITRON’s existing buildings. The new plant is designed to be environmentally friendly as well, with a large photovoltaic system providing 1 mega watt of power.
FAS produces mechanics systems specifically for WITRON standard solutions like OPM, ETP, DPS, OPS or ATS. The product portfolio comprises all decisive elements like tote, tray and pallet conveyor systems, stacker cranes, sequence buffers, roller conveyors, and chain conveyors. Even the Case Order Machine, the central element of the OPM system, as well as the visionary Ergonomic Picking Mobile – heart of the TUV certified ETP system – are developed and built by WITRON via the FAS subsidiary.
The production plant uses state-of-the-art production technology like laser cutting and galvanizing, enabling a wide production variety and high manufacturing quality to the last detail. The final assembly of the conveyor elements is performed at 56 production workstations based on exactly tailored work processes. All production workstations have an attractive and ergonomic design, and provide all necessary components to completely manufacture the various elements. Production control and the provision of components are realized with a Kanban system equipped with an automatic pallet and tote warehouse.
Instead of wiring motors, control units, and drive units on the project site, this work is done during production. Performing this work in an optimum work environment results in higher product quality and shorter start-up times. And here appears another decisive advantage of in-house mechanics production: IT, PLC, control units, sensor technology, and mechanics come from one source – optimizations are realized wherever it makes the most sense – interface problems between controls and mechanics are a thing of the past.
Design engineers use WITRON competence from all project phases
Given the fact that logistics systems have a life cycle of 25 – 30 years, the user demands cost-efficiency, performance, and especially, investment security. For the development and production of mechanical components, FAS can revert to WITRON’s decades of practical experience gained from design, realization, and system operation. A decisive advantage is that WITRON not “only” designs and realizes many systems in different industry sectors, but it also maintains and operates those systems – up to 7 days / 24 hours. This know-how enables mechanical innovation that not only focuses on functionality and initial investment, but also on factors regarding the entire life cycle like lifetime costs, stability, wear, maintainability, maintenance intensity, and spare parts consumption.
WITRON customers rely on FAS mechanics
And the order books show that WITRON’s customers trust this concept – regardless of country, industry sector, or temperature range. Customers from Germany, Switzerland, Benelux, Scandinavia, the USA, and Canada have been relying on FAS technology for years. These satisfied customers include global leaders like Coop Norway, Delhaize, Festo, Kroger, Migros, Porsche, and Target. Although this is just a small selection of references, the trend towards the FAS standard is clear – and still upward!
FAS racking in the future
With regards to their “all from one source strategy”, the new production facilities provide even more differentiation characteristics for WITRON compared to their competitors. Thanks to the new mechanics production, WITRON now has the entire infrastructure to realize racking for AS/RS projects on their own for the future. Here too, FAS is working according to the principle “maximum individuality at maximum standardization.” Thus, WITRON has further expanded its own added value.