Harting Technology Group, based in Germany, is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of industrial connection technology.
The Group needed to create a new, modern and high-tech European distribution centre (EDC) at its Espelkamp headquarters to meet growing customer demand, and fulfil its goals of reaching new markets and achieving a one billion Euro turnover.
We were engaged to provide our state-of-the-art technical warehouse solutions, to create a highly automated order picking (6,500 m2) and storage area (4,500 m2), which could be controlled optimally controlled and efficiently used.
Harting’s own technology was already in use at the entrance to the company premises, where approaching vehicles are identified by an electronic system and the barrier opens automatically for all registered vehicles.
We installed 20-meter-high racking systems, with capacity for 6,900 pallets of 574 kg per pallet and 115,000 storage spaces for containers of 35 kg, fast moving and volume article spaces. The weight distribution in the systems takes place automatically. An impressive 100 km of IT cables and 40 km of sprinkler lines were laid. Using a 1 km long conveyor system, 2,000 containers per hour can be stored and retrieved.
RFID (radio frequency identification) technology ensures the pallets are correctly loaded. A driverless transport system takes over the movement of goods between the warehouses, operating route-optimised technology, so independently finding the shortest route. The highly flexible logistics of the EDC also enable a quick reaction to any changes.
Around 140 employees work in the logistics centre in a three-shift system. The ergonomic design of the workplaces - the pallets can be lifted almost a meter during order picking - prevents the employees from constantly bending over and potentially sustaining back injuries.
The electricity for the technology in the EDC is supplied by a photovoltaic system installed on the roof. The energy requirement for cold and heat is covered by biomethane from the EDC’s own production and a geothermal system covers and minimises CO2 emissions.
In summary, we installed:
- 2 mini load systems handled with crane solution
- 1 pallet racking system with automatic crane handling
- 2 stacker crane systems with automatic handling
- Conveyor technology
We partnered with:
- Aberle Automation GmbH & Co. KG, Leingarten – today KÖRBER
- Dexion Lampe Lagertechnik – Gonvarri Material Handling
- Knapp, Schwingshandel, Beumer
EDC performance in detail:
- Picking area – 6.500 m2
- AGV handles route-optimized circulation of goods between warehouses
- Pallet loading using RFID technology
- Picking performance: 20.00 order lines / day = max. 10.000 parcels / day
- Storage area – 4.500 m2
- Miniload: 115.000 storage locations for containers of 35 kg
- Automatic weight distribution
- Storage of more than 25,000 finished articles
- 26.000 storage / picking processes per day
- Conveyor technology: 2.000 containers per hour
- Racking system: 6.900 pallet places of 574 kg
- Pallets handled with transverse distribution trolleys and cranes
The resulting 11,000 m2 distribution centre is an impressive model of high tech warehousing and operational efficiency. It is also a showcase for Harting’s own technology.
The efficiency of the new European Distribution Centre (EDC) of the Harting Technology Group is outstanding. State-of-the-art storage and order picking technology secure the highest degree of efficiency and performance, echoing everything that Harting stands for: Pushing Performance. The in-house technology is integrated everywhere into the building and in the interior.
Some 20,000 customer order items can be picked and packed individually every day. With up to 110 trucks and vans, around 10,000 parcels will leave the EDC on the day the order is placed, bound for customers all over the world.
With its innovative intralogistics solutions, the European Distribution Centre is also a flagship project for the company’s technological expertise. “Our products are everywhere in this building, its technology, its system, its inner workings,” commented Philip Harting, Harting’s CEO.
Harting Technology Group is a family-run business, founded in Germany in 1945, initially manufacturing everyday devices. However, the founder soon recognised the need Germany’s developing industry would have for technical products.
The Han connector was developed, which later became a globally recognized standard. Over the years, the company has developed into one of the world’s leading providers of industrial connection technology for three key areas: data, signals and energy. Harting now comprises 14 production sites and 44 sales companies worldwide.