TGW installs Automated Storage with Electro Static
Discharge Protection for Hella
Hella, the leading specialist in automotive lighting & electronics, has
recently centralised the entire logistics operations at one of its
production sites. Electro Static Discharge or ESD protection, accurate
production supply and low noise levels were the important
considerations for the new logistics centre situated in Recklinghausen,
Germany planned by Miebach Consulting, implemented by TGW and is
now operated by Lila Logistik.
Virtually every single car uses lighting technology and electronic components
and systems developed and manufactured by Hella. With a turnover of 3.7
billion euros the group ranks among the Top 50 automotive suppliers
worldwide and employs over 25,000 people in 70 manufacturing plants,
production subsidiaries and joint ventures in 18 countries.
At its Recklinghausen site, Hella manufactures lighting and electronic
components, sensors, actuators, ‘x-by-wire’ systems as well as optical and
acoustic signal systems in two production areas. Historically these two areas
have been supplied with production components in a decentralised manner
and this has been mirrored in the distribution activity, which involved several
Operations have now been centralised in a new logistics centre, which
became operational in October 2007, and now accommodates both the
production and distribution operations Hella also appointed Lila Logistik to
operate the facility. Lila Logistik’s operational team are tasked with delivering
high service levels to complete material requests throughout the facility within
a maximum window of just one hour.
The logistics centre planned by Miebach Consulting and implemented by TGW
comprises several different storage areas. The materials and items that
2008_06_TGW_ESDP_Hella.doc Page 1 / 5
populate these storage areas are classified by their usage or velocity as either
A,B or C items - with ‘A’ being the fast moving items. All ‘A’ items are stored in
a traditional pallet warehouse served by forklift trucks. These items are
delivered and stored on pallets and on request are transported to the different
production areas via an in-floor conveyor system.
‘B’ and ‘C’ items are stored in an automated small-parts warehouse. Four
storage aisles each 45 m long and 9 m high are equipped with TGW’s
Mustang high-performance automated storage and retrieval machines. The
four aisles accommodate 27,000 trays, which act as storage shelves for the
stock items that are received either in cartons or tote bins of various sizes,
shapes and weights. The tray provides a common load “’footprint’ and
characteristics for the materials handling equipment to reduce the risk and
cost associated with handling a large variety of items with variable
characteristics. The TGW Mustang storage and retrieval machines retrieve up
to 600 trays per hour from the warehouse to supply the items and material to
the production workstations and distribution operations.
The automated warehouse is located to one side of the logistics centre and is
connected to the workstation positions via an automated conveyor system
provided by TGW. The pre-storage area and conveyor network are installed
on a raised platform, which frees up valuable ground floor space and
maximises the use of the available headroom. Two TGW continuous elevator
or vertical conveyors, each delivering up to 800 trays per hour, connect this
conveyor level with the working areas on the ground floor.
Multifunctional work places provide flexibility
At the heart of the logistics centre are 13 ergonomically designed
multifunctional workstations. Each workstation is identical in its design but can
be used for different functions, which are defined and allocated in the material
flow control system. These functions can be changed at any time providing
2008_06_TGW_ESDP_Hella.doc Page 2 / 5
maximum flexibility to the operation. Currently five workstations are used as
picking stations for production supply, six are available for goods issue, one
workplace is reserved for returns and one as a clearing station. The items
picked for production are delivered to the production areas on trolleys and
transported via the in-floor conveyor to the required location within the facility.
A TGW conveyor loop links these 13 workplaces together and connects them
to the automated small-parts warehouse. This loop approach is an important
design feature as it allows the trays containing the items to be sequenced to
the workstations. The loop un-couples the TGW automated storage and
retrieval machine activity from the sequencing operation, which allows the
machines to operate in the most efficient way. The multi purpose loop is also
used to deliver stacks of empty trays too and from the automated warehouse
and the operation.
All requirements satisfied by an electromechanical solution
The entire material handling system has been provided by TGW without any
pneumatic elements. All accumulation, transfer and lifting requirements are
met using an electro-mechanical solution, which as well as making the
installation of a pneumatic system redundant, reduces maintenance costs and
reduces ambient noise levels.
The material flow control of the storage and conveyor system has a direct
interface to a SAP-WM module and manages all material movement and flow
of goods throughout the logistics centre. It directs the activity of the tray
conveyor system and the in-floor conveyor system as well as controlling and
managing the storage location management within the automated small-parts.
ESD Protection In All Areas
Electro Static Discharge (ESD) can cause serious damage to electronic
equipment. ESD protection is therefore a major priority for Hella and plays an
important role in the design, specification and operation of the Recklinghausen
2008_06_TGW_ESDP_Hella.doc Page 3 / 5
facility. A strictly maintained allowable charge range has to be accommodated
throughout the material handling system. The storage and transport trays used
throughout the operation are constructed from conductive graphite and have
to be transported on conductive materials at all times.
TGW were able to deploy the appropriate technologies and materials to meet
the site’s ESD requirement. Belt conveyors, for example, were provided with
conveyor belts made of conductive material and steel slide plates were
provided. The TGW load handling devices on the TGW Mustang machines
were fitted with electro-conductive conveyor belts. Additional carbon brushes
on the conveyor transfer devices provide earthing when the trays are
transported over plastic belts and grounding bars ensure a stable charge
range along the entire conveyor system.
Short Implementation Time
These special requirements combined with a tight timeline for the installation
posed a challenge. However, in less than five months TGW and its partners
turned an empty hall into a fully operative, highly automated logistics centre.
This was thanks to the close cooperation between all participants from the
TGW implementation team, Hella’s project and operational teams, the planner
Miebach Consulting, the operator Lila Logistik and all the sub-system
suppliers and partners. This integrated ‘teamwork’ approach ensured that the
solution was delivered and handed over to the Lila Logistik operational team
2008_06_TGW_ESDP_Hella.doc Page 4 / 5
Source: TGW Mechanics GmbH
Printing free of charge is permitted quoting the source and in connection with
a press report principally covering TGW Mechanics GmbH affairs. Publication
for advertising purposes is not free of charge.
TGW Mustangs rushing at high speed through 45 m long and 9 m high
4 Mustang stacker cranes by TGW serve 27,000 tray locations in Hella's
logistics centre in Recklinghausen, Germany.
A conveyor loop connects 13 workplaces, providing for the right distribution of
The workplaces at Hella stand out for their ergonomic and multifunctional
2 permanently operated vertical conveyors by TGW transport up to 800 trays
per hour from the storage level to the workplaces and back.
Contact: Press contact:
Philip Steeds Ross Matthews
TGW Limited Arkill Matthews Ltd
31 The Point, Market Harborough, T: +44 (0)1923 770 455
Leicestershire, LE16 7QU M: +44 (0)7711 347 701
T: +44 (0)1858 468 855 email@example.com
F: +44 (0)1858 419 613
2008_06_TGW_ESDP_Hella.doc Page 5 / 5