Danfoss is one of the world's leading suppliers of innovative and energy-efficient solutions. Ecological technologies give both private and business customers the opportunity to use intelligent technology to create a healthier and more comfortable indoor climate in buildings and homes.
The new warehouse in Silkeborg is part of a very large project which, among other things, involves the relocation of Danfoss' factory in Viby near Aarhus. Within the new warehouse, the main goal was to optimise the manufacturing area. The removal of an existing storage system opened up valuable floor space, allowing room for additional production and storage machines. This will provide more productivity with the assistance of automated storage, as well as further support future business plans to move to a 24/7 operational model. A total of 18,000 m2 has been set aside for the project, of which the new warehouse takes up 2,700 m2.
For the new warehouse, Danfoss chose a narrow aisle solution with Pick & Deposit stations (also widely known as P&D stations). Klaus Pedersen, Lean Transformation Expert at Danfoss says:
"We have a similar warehouse in both Tinglev and Rødekro where we sought inspiration. However, picking from Pull-out units is new for us, and here we have chosen to have both floor models and beam mounted POUs on the first level, ergonomically safer for manual picking. Also new are mesh gratings that we use to store special iron pallets with the dimensions 800mm x 800mm. These special pallets are used for internal transport of, for example, brass."
The narrow aisle warehouse is divided into different sections for storing both raw materials in the form of granules, as well as semi-finished products and finished goods. The purpose of the new warehouse is to support the change and removal of the existing storage systems by creating a more efficient workflow and storage operations. The P&D stations at the end of the aisles have been installed ready for the next stage of the process.
Warehouse Manager Christian Jensen from Danfoss explains: "Within the next 15 months, we expect to have automated 90% of all pallet handling, with the next stage of us moving to 24/7 operations to provide more for our customers, whilst keeping up a steady flow of production.
Here the P&D stations will be used for intermediate storage. At the moment, we are assessing the flow of pallets to ensure production works harmoniously before approaching the next step which will include the rest of the storage facilities closing down in production."
Facts about the installation:
- No. of pallet locations: 5200
- Height: 13m
- No. of mesh gratings: 550
- No. of POUs: 140
"The solution works well. It's also provided us with a warehouse that has been future-proofed for at least the next 4-5 years. Although, we have yet to put the Pick and Deposit stations to good use yet, this will come in good time. We need to ensure our staff are trained up in time for when the automation project is rolled out, currently they are used to putting pallets on the floor but going forward pallets will be stacked high to ensure the warehouse space is used efficiently," says Klaus Pedersen.
"In fact, there was a danger that the automation project wouldn't have started at all. At the last minute we had to switch to a different beam type, and it was thanks to the great flexibility on Constructor's part that this was possible for us. Along with their excellent knowledge and adaptability, Constructor's installation team showed fantastic collaboration and communication skills. We had another company in working on the sprinkler system installation at the same time, they both approached it in a professional manner, completely easing our nerves and working seamlessly together. It was such a great success that the warehouse was completed a week and a half ahead of schedule, which was a bonus."
Founded by Mads Clausen in his parents' farmhouse in the 1930s, Danfoss is a family-owned company with a strong sense of social responsibility. It is now one of the world's leading suppliers of energy-efficient and innovative solutions, with over 42,000 employees and activities in over 100 countries. Early establishment in growth markets and a sharp focus on innovative products for customers have been essential to their success.