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Ferdinand Bilstein GmbH + Co. KG expands its logistics capacities

Ferdinand Bilstein GmbH + Co. KG expands its logistics capacities in Ennepetal.

Propelled by excellent growth figures and the purchase of the British enterprise Automotive Distributors Ltd (ADL), market-leading supplier in the automotive and truck spare parts segment for Japanese, Korean, and US-American vehicles, Ferdinand Bilstein GmbH + Co. KG, will expand its warehouse capacities at the logistics center in Ennepetal.

The order for design and realization was again awarded to the Parkstein systems integrator WITRON Logistik + Informatik GmbH. WITRON acted as general contractor for the overall realization of the existing logistics center that febi bilstein has been operating since 2008.

„Based on enormously increased sales volumes, and due to the successful expansion in other countries and market segments, we already require the additional logistics resources originally planned to be used in 2015”, says febi logistics manager Frank Boecker. "As a result of the very good experiences we made with WITRON's OPS (Order Picking System) and MPS (Module Picking System) in terms of cost-efficiency, performance, quality, flexibility, and ergonomics, we immediately made the decision to implement these same solutions for our future expansion. We also recognized that WITRON’s down-to-earth-culture and structure is a good match with febi, as we are both family-run businesses.  

In order to maintain high service levels for national and international customers, the system in Ennepetal will be expanded from its current 36,000 SKUs to a future target of up to 105,000 SKUs.  

The tote picking system OPS will be expanded by 16 additional pick workstations (26 in total), by 9 additional storage aisles (19 in total), and 90,000 locations (190,000 in total). The MPS system for the automated storage and picking of heavy and bulky parts will receive 8 additional pick workstations (20 in total), 4 new storage aisles (11 in total), and 22,200 pallet locations (61,500 in total). The "automated product packing department" will be expanded by 6 workstations (21 in total).  

A new 4-aisle automated high bay warehouse will stand 28 meters tall and hold 10,250 pallet locations. This dispatch buffer will provide pallets in the proper timing and sequence for trailer loading, using far less floor space than today’s manual buffering process. Moreover, the dispatch buffer will also be used to store and supply packaging material, thereby freeing up capacity in the MPS pallet high bay warehouse and increasing performance in the MPS zones.

The expansion during ongoing operation will be performed in two steps. The MPS module will start productive use in October 2012. The new OPS areas and the dispatch warehouse will follow at the beginning of 2014.

"The investment into the new warehouse will strengthen febi's international position and increase attractiveness for customers and partners. It is also an important pillar for the development of new markets, the generation of competitive advantages, and long-term job security in the region", explains Frank Boecker.