At its new site in Mohelnice, Czech Republic, Albert Craiss GmbH & Co. KG operates a warehouse with a direct link to the plant of a technology group. The central task of the contract logistics provider is to supply the workplaces with components required for transmission production in precise sequence. The warehouse management software pL-Store® from proLogistik ensures consistently synchronized processes. At the same time, high availability is ensured. Superfluous handling effort is eliminated, as is constant parts tourism between the warehouse and production and high inventories at the assembly stations.
Contract logistics is a demanding business that thrives on professionalism, transparency and trust. Such a constellation is of substantial importance in the field of industry-related contract logistics. This is precisely what Albert Craiss GmbH & Co. KG, headquartered in Mühlacker, Baden-Württemberg, is working on. The family-run logistics company, whose roots go back to 1931, employs just under 800 people and operates at 16 locations in six countries. The expertise is correspondingly broad when it comes to implementing holistically developed, individualized logistics concepts. Furthermore, it is essential to constantly demonstrate their effectiveness in operational use.
Expansion in the Eastern European region
As a partner to manufacturing companies, the Swabian logistics specialist also handles value-added services in addition to warehousing, handling and transport tasks. For clients from the technology sector, these are primarily assembly-related picking and packing activities as well as sequencing according to cycle specifications from production. The plant specializes in the production of gearmotors, which are used in conveyor belts, among other things. The contract logistics provider is responsible for receiving goods, order-related order picking, replenishing assembly and packaging activities for shipping.
In addition, picking and packing stations, staging areas and “stations” in the form of corridors were set up. The latter are reserved for the tugger trains, which are used to supply the assembly stations with the components required for the order to be processed.
In-depth process understanding required
This lean logistics approach is supported by a warehouse management system , which is connected to and communicates with the customer’s SAP ERP via an EDI interface or converter. Because: Digitization is essential in this context. As already at the Warburg, Schwandorf and Regensburg locations, Craiss relied on the warehouse management software pL-Store from proLogistik. “We have repeatedly had good experiences with the intralogistics system house in recent years,” says Daniel Sämann, Team Leader Software Development at Craiss. “proLogistik has repeatedly demonstrated the required knowledge of process design even with varying customer-specific features. In addition, we obtain hardware and software from a single source. In this respect, it was obvious to trust in the Dortmund company in Mohelnice as well.
Focus on sequencing and mobile packaging
The specification discussions started in July 2018. This was followed by the implementation of the pL-Store-LVS, the commissioning of which was completed at the end of May 2019. The replenishment request is triggered by scanning the assembly station and simultaneously recorded in pL-Store. In parallel, a transport is activated for the order to be picked up, which is ready at a station designed as a buffer corridor. Meanwhile, status telegrams about the progress are transmitted to the SAP ERP.
The process of “mobile packaging” is also characteristic. It implies that all packaging dialogs run through the masks of the mobile data capture devices.
Operational solution analogous to corporate strategy
With the new branch office in the eastern Czech Republic, Craiss is following its guiding principle of growing beyond the German-speaking region in Eastern Europe in the area of contract logistics. With Mohelnice, there are now six branches in this region. Work is carried out in 2-shift operation. The number of daily completed orders currently amounts to around 200, which in turn are associated with approximately 2,200 driving jobs. These values will gradually increase in the future as part of the planned expansion of production capacities in Mohelnice. However, the strategy of the contract logistics provider from Swabia also includes implementing group-wide standards that enable proactive, system-supported management and control of replenishment. “With pL-Store from proLogistik, we have now also succeeded in interlinking production and logistics in Mohelnice without media discontinuity and creating continuous transparency across the entire process,” emphasizes software expert and team leader Daniel Sämann. “The standardized warehouse management system, which has been expanded to include specific functions, helps us to provide the expected performance and services reliably and to adapt flexibly to new requirements. This is very important, especially in economically uncertain times. The industrial customer can concentrate on its core competencies and we practically did the rest.” A further rollout of the pL store LVS at Craiss is scheduled to take place in Tübingen in 2021.