The current logistics centre at the main train station in Linz was built in the 1980s and – despite a number of adjustments and modernisation measures – no longer meets the current requirements of a modern logistics company such as Austria's state-controlled postal service, Österreichische Post. In times with a particularly high volume of postal traffic, such as the Christmas period, for example, the technical capacities are also no longer adequate since in particular the numbers of parcels from Germany to Austria that pass through Linz are increasing year on year.
"We discussed initial ideas for the new distribution centre in Linz with Österreichische Post AG as far back as the CeMAT 2008 trade fair," remembers Eric Fegers, Sales Engineer at Vanderlande Industries in Mönchengladbach. "The transport connections and the technical capacities of the existing site in the centre of Linz were crucial in the planning of the new site. Naturally a greenfield site would be best."
With Allhaming, it was now possible to find a suitable new location in the Linz-Land district. Österreichische Post AG then built a new distribution centre here, designed to process 1.6 million letters and 100,000 parcels every day. The total cost is approximately 50 million euros.
The automated sorting and conveyor system for letter containers and letter bundles, which is supplied by Vanderlande Industries, is an essential part of the new logistics centre.
Reliable and fast sorting
Letter containers and letter bundles that are delivered by truck are fed to the sorting system via a total of five input lines. The letter containers hold unsorted correspondence that is passed on to the different working areas by the conveyor. Here, the correspondence is sorted either using automated letter-distribution machines or by hand.
Once sorted into the individual working areas, the correspondence is then placed back into the letter containers, transported into the despatch area via the conveyor and there fed to 20 chutes. At the sorting terminals, employees finally load the correspondence into waiting carts.
Vanderlande uses a POSISORTER for the sorting, because, in addition to letter containers, letter bundles – stacks of letters, newspapers or catalogues bound with string – also need to be sorted.
The POSISORTER is a horizontal-running, high-speed sorter conveyor with wide, extruded aluminium carriers. The carriers are connected to the drive chain of the conveyor. The divert shoes, which are produced from premium-quality plastic, are mounted on the carriers. The divert shoes are deflected at an angle of 30° by means of a junction, slide over the carrier and in this way move the goods gently to the relevant exit of the
sorter. The number of divert shoes deflected by the junction depends on the length of the particular item being sorted. Since there are discharge chutes on both sides of the sorter, the divert shoes are pre-sorted depending on the relevant divert direction.
The POSISORTER can sort up to 6,000 totes and bundles every hour. This reliable technology has already been introduced in a number of Österreichische Post AG distribution centres.
"Vanderlande has already had the privilege of installing multiple sorting systems for Österreichische Post AG in Salzburg, Wolfurt and Graz, which have been used with success for many years. Also here the POSISORTER is at the heart of each of the plants. We are delighted that Österreichische Post AG has decided to continue writing this success story in Allhaming, too," said Eric Fegers.
The ground-breaking ceremony for the new logistics centre took place at the beginning of August 2013. Full operation is planned for September 2014.