Near the corporate headquarters in Mettlach, there is a very large high-rise warehouse in Merzig where shipments from the center are made to places all around the world.
Retrofit for Performance
V&B has been working with two different picking systems for almost seven years. During this period, they were able to test anew the design and planning of an installation each day and, at the same time, directly compared the two different systems. While the traditional order picker collected the merchandise from the shelves in the usual way, the new installation, comprising Interroll components, completed the task autonomously: The tower-high, intermediary storage was automatically filled with orders which were then executed by the order picker.
This means less time collecting, shorter processing times, and a happy side effect: less use of space and energy. The time factor, above all, was a serious criteria for choosing, explains Michael Dietzen, Head of Technology in the tableware distribution warehouse:
The prerequisite was that the merchandise gets to the customer quickly. In the already existing installation, everything tended to drag because of the whole concept; with the new installation, speed has increased by about a factor of 10 in the meantime.
Merchandise reaches the customer faster, and the entire motion sequence is improved.
Behind the large plate glass facade at Villeroy & Boch is the central distribution warehouse from which the extensive range of products is shipped
The Interroll RollerDrive offer other advantages as well, which become clear when directly compared to the installation that has been in existence there for a long time.
The conveyors work with zero pressure accumulation operation, as well as a central drive motor that drives the continuous flat belt. The individual sections/accumulation spots are pneumatically conrolled (i.e., the belt is swiveled away from the rollers and the rollers then operate without drive). This system has been around for about 30 years, and it works, but it has some serious disadvantages: The necessary pneumatic is expensive and loud, and the drive motor runs continuously, which is also loud and expensive.
In contrast, the rollers of the Interroll equipment only operate when they have to turn, which is significantly quieter and, above all, more efficient.
At the same time, the extra-low voltage RollerDrive can be easily and quickly replaced if there is a change or some kind of breakdown in the installation. If two to three people are needed to change the 400V drive in its usual version, which means about two hours downtime, the balance here looks much better.
With Interroll, it is just one unit, plug and play — a half an hour downtime. Such a breakdown, however, has occured only once during the past years. And that pays off, too.