Success leads to partnership

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The FÖRCH group continues to grow and has decided to build a second logistics centre in Neuenstadt am Kocher. Based on the existing successful and long-standing collaboration, Vanderlande has again been selected as the general contractor intralogistics.

Smiling faces after signing the contract: standing, from left to right:

Reinhold Kuhn, Chairman of the FÖRCH group executive board, Jan Hulsmann, Director of Warehouse and Package Automation at Vanderlande, Andreas Pescht, member of the FÖRCH group executive board.

Sitting, from left to right:

Matthias Kramm, Managing Director of Vanderlande Mönchengladbach, Holger Thrun, member of the FÖRCH group executive board

Mönchengladbach - FÖRCH has been a leading direct selling company supplying fasteners, workshop equipment and installation products to trade and industrial companies for more than 50 years. The company sells over 70,000 items in product groups as diverse as fasteners, construction and workshop chemicals, pipe insulation, tools and consumables to customers all over the world.

After implementation of the initial logistics centre project in 2006 and two subsequent successful extensions in the 'live' operational environment in 2010 and 2012, FÖRCH has now decided to build a new logistics centre, which will be fully integrated within the existing facility.

The company decided to build a new logistics centre from the ground up as the existing system is already operating close to its absolute performance limits and efficient implementation of a further capacity increase within the existing building envelope is simply not possible.

Furthermore, the internal logistics processes require optimisation in order to satisfy increasingly challenging market demands. In addition to increasing storage capacity and improving delivery capability, this optimisation programme will also involve installing more productive, highly ergonomic picking stations and creating an additional packing and dispatch area. Vanderlande is the recognised logistics industry benchmark in terms of "workplace economics in combination with high-performance" and shuttle technology.

"Vanderlande has already convincingly demonstrated that its technology is both capable of handling our demands and generating business success for both parties in combination with professional support.

We are delighted that Vanderlande will now also build the second logistics centre, as we firmly believe that full integration of the various systems in a targeted way is only possible if managed by a single manufacturer", says Reinhold Kuhn, Chairman of the FÖRCH group executive board and responsible for implementing the first project.

Shuttle technology has paid off

Vanderlande is the only supplier in the market to offer four different shuttle types in its product range, meaning that the company can offer a suitable in-house solution for all requirements.

Vanderlande's Microshuttle is the best solution for the demands of the automatic small parts warehouse at FÖRCH. A total of 32 QUICKSTORE Microshuttles will be used for the first construction phase. They will be evenly distributed across 16 aisles at two different levels.

In addition to offering outstanding performance, the advantage of the Microshuttle system lies in its high scalability, which makes it possible to integrate additional shuttles quickly and without complication in the individual aisles at any time in response to changing order structures, or even extend the aisles if need be.

Furthermore, the QUICKSTORE Microshuttle offers extreme ease of maintenance. Based on the Microshuttle's net weight of only 40 kg, which is significantly less than the maximum payload weight, it can be picked up and carried out of the aisle for off-line maintenance at any time.

The sustainable energy concept and built-in power supply of the QUICKSTORE Microshuttle units are equally persuasive arguments.

Technical implementation of the new logistics system is planned to start in November 2014. This will be followed by a roll-out of the latest generation of Vanderlande's VISION software to the existing system in the summer of 2015. The new logistics centre is expected to start handling actual orders in the summer of 2016.

"We very much look forward to continuing the existing long-standing and friendly collaboration with FÖRCH during implementation of this challenging project", says Matthias Kramm, Managing Director of Vanderlande Industries GmbH in Mönchengladbach. "Working as partners on an equal footing is the best premise for successfully designing and implementing a project of this type."

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