To improve the process and operating reliability, Fissler GmbH drastically retrofitted the high bay warehouse erected in 1973 at the location in Hoppstädten-Weiersbach. This brand-name manufacturer relied on Stöcklin Logistik AG’s know-how to realize this project. In cooperation with the Swiss intralogistic provider, a new safety concept was also installed and measures to reduce the power consumption have shown a measurable effect.
For decades the name Fissler has stood for cooking pleasure and a wide range of high quality cookware, such as pressure cookers, frying pans, woks and other useful kitchen aids. The decisive factors for these premium products are the stylish design, precision workmanship and high utility value. These properties are appreciated by cooks and connoisseurs alike.
Analog to the technological progress, the nearly 170 year old history of this family enterprise from Idar-Oberstein is accompanied by the development “from frying pan to digital cooking”. One of the milestones is the invention of the field kitchen and the first pressure cooker with multistage safety valve. Moreover Fissler was the first German manufacturer to introduce a non-stick coating on the market.
Analysis justified investment
This traditional company from the Hunsrück Mountain region has operated a logistics center with approx. 25,000 pallet locations for storage of finished goods and semi-finished products in Hoppstädten-Weierbach since 1973. For over four decades the high bay warehouse equipped with intralogistic technology from the Swiss System Provider, Stöcklin, has fulfilled the requirements of the company. However, in the face of the recognizably advanced age, malfunctions are becoming increasingly frequent.
“The reduction in availability as well as increasing number of “unsolvable” problems were the main reasons for subjecting the system to massive retrofit measures.
said Carsten Jung. However Fissler’s assistant warehouse manager also mentions other reasons: The interaction of the four partners from the areas of service, maintenance, operations and repair was no longer optimal. Moreover procurement of replacement parts, required using components from different production years; a situation, which also had a negative influence on the processes.
In consideration of this background, Fissler decided in favor of new orientation in the form of a complete retrofit. In the course of this, the overall process and operational reliability was to be improved and emphasis placed on the subjects of energy efficiency and sustainability.
“The competent counselling from Stöcklin Logistics resulted in recommendation of an intelligent intermediate circuit coupling”
continued Carsten Jung. Calculation based on consideration of the daily storage and retrieval movements as well as the working and operating times was accomplished to determine the ROI (return on investment). “Based on these values, the investment was also justified in view of the future”, emphasized the logistics expert.
Integrated energy savings concept
Wear was also a factor in the study. Thanks to specific optimizations in the area of the check-in and check-out docks, superfluous travel has been virtually eliminated today. In addition to replacement of the entire conveying equipment including control, Stöcklin Logistics completely overhauled three of the five stacker cranes (RBG) in use to date, and replaced the remaining two with new MASTer units. The 31 m high machines each move over an aisle length of approx. 113 m, serving the storage bays with pallets and lattice boxes. The number of storage and retrieval operations varies between 500 and 600.
Moreover other provisions were made with a positive effect on Fissler’s energy balance. For example unused braking energy is recovered and returned to the system today and the operator can choose between the Eco and Boost mode on the stacker cranes (RBG). At peak times, the machine can be switched over to “Boost”, while the “Eco” mode is fully sufficient for regular, daily operation. “This presently reduces our power consumption from 100 to 60%”, stressed Carsten Jung. Moreover the machines can now be switched off completely at the end of a shift or over the weekend. This package of measures now allows Fissler to also meet the requirements of DIN EN ISO 5001 “Energy management systems”,
Practice exceeds expectations
Figures provide concrete information on results achieved: At the beginning the partners assumed that approx. 26,500 kWh could be saved per year by implementing new technology in combination with an ingenious intermediate circuit coupling. However, thanks to additional measures, these expectations, developed and implemented from the mutual project work, were exceeded. During the period from September 2015 to April 2016, significant, quantifiable savings figures were achieved, according to information from the company.
Carsten Jung added: “In comparison to the initial situation with power consumption of approx. 130,000 kWh, we save nearly 104,000 kWh per year.” This increased savings within the sense of sustainability, is also a boon for the environment and climate.
Highest safety standards
The plans also foresaw implementing a new safety concept at the technical and personnel levels. “In order to ensure the availability of the system at all times, we divided the five aisles and conveying equipment up into sections”, explained Urs Hasler. “In the event of a malfunction, it is no longer necessary to shut down the entire system; only the effected sections”, continued the Stöcklin Project Manager. In the area of the conveying systems, for example, each group is equipped with a safety switch. When the safety switch is activated, the power supply to all motors in the group is shut off. This allows the motors in one conveyor group to be stopped temporarily for service work or in the event of a malfunction.
Access to the transfer shuttle is possible through a door on the ground floor. The authorized employee can stop the vehicle safely with a request at the main control cabinet for the conveying equipment. It is then necessary to secure the system against being switched back on unintentionally. The transfer shuttle and conveying equipment can also be operated on a mobile panel. Access to the aisle is also possible, if required. The access door can be opened when the command has been actuated on the control cabinet for the stacker crane in question as soon as all travel and hoisting motions have been stopped and it is in a secure position.
Supplementary safety applications
State-of-the-art LED illumination is not only attractive; at Fissler it is also an integral part of the energy reduction and safety concept. The masts on the five stacker cranes (RBG) are equipped with LED strips over their entire height. The LED’s are protected by aluminum channels with Plexiglas cover. This light solutions from ProXplus in Däniken ensure excellent light intensity and good visibility. They require significantly less power than conventional lighting systems, while also offering long, proven service life.
The Fissler employees were already familiarized with operation of the system practically in the “live mode” in courses of training held while the modernization work was still in progress. Investments in personal protective equipment, such as safety harnesses, headsets for two-way and mobile radio applications, complete the safety concept developed in close cooperation with the client and implemented in practice.
Business contacts fortified
The modernization project for the Fissler high bay warehouse at the location in Hoppstädten-Weiersbach was implemented during the period from April to September 2015. This included a new material flow computer with visualization from GDV Kuhn mbH in Salzhausen, Germany. This realization period was preceded by an intensive preparation phase. Withing the framework of awarding the contract, the renovation work was scheduled in a number of phases lasting over one year. In the final round, we experienced a “head-on-head race to the finish” between Stöcklin and one other remaining competitor”, declared Carsten Jung.
“Decisive for the final decision in favor of Stöcklin were the many years of good, trustworthy business relationships as well as the excellent support in defining the scope of retrofit work to be performed”
explained the Assistant Warehouse Manager. Another point is the ability of the Swiss logistics provider to react flexibly to specific customer requirements and custom job specifications. This satisfies the desire to develop close, long term business relationships within the scope of the modernization work.