With an additional 10,000 vehicle starter batteries in the new warehouse, battery manufacturer Banner in Linz, Austria, makes a new start. TGW expanded the warehouse using latest technologies and prospects for the future. Thus, Banner not only gains space, but also state-of-the-art material handling know-how.
As sole Austrian battery manufacturer, Banner is one of the internationally recognised and leading battery producers and supplies many important automotive manufacturers such as Audi, BMW, VW, Porsche or Mercedes with batteries for first fitting. Whether in the coldest north of Scandinavia or in the heat of Africa – Banner products are tried and tested. The company headquartered in Linz, Upper Austria, generated a turnover of 239 million Euros in the business year 2014/2015 and employs about 770 people throughout the whole Group, 520 of them in Linz-Leonding. 3.8 millions of starter batteries are sold per year to well-known customers.
In order to be prepared for the future, Banner decided to build a new warehouse area as well as an automated warehouse and a workstation area in the existing hall. In the logistics centre in Linz-Leonding, semi-finished batteries are stored, which means batteries without acids for further intra-company processing as well as filled batteries for dispatch and distribution to customers. The continuous growth of Banner called for a considerable increase in warehouse capacity as well as performance.
Thomas Bawart, Technical Managing Director of Banner Batterien, considers the high-bay warehouse to be another element for future growth: "Our primary objective is and remains a sustainable, economically sound business orientation. An increase in production quantities, though, has to be consistent with increases in productivity and efficiency."
Heading for the goal with full power
The factory premises of Banner in Linz-Leonding were expanded by a new building. It aimed at increasing the capacity of the pallet storage locations by 10,000 positions. On average, 22 pallets per hour should be stored and 33 pallets retrieved. At peak times, this value will boost to 66 and 90. TGW took up those targets and worked out a sophisticated intralogistics concept for production supply in cooperation with Banner.
In Banner's new high-bay warehouse, fully automatic storage and retrieval machines in an oxygen-deficient environment take care that the more than 10,000 storage locations are provided with pallets for storing the quality products of Banner. Those additional pallets are stored in three double deep warehouse aisles, which means that always two pallets are stored one behind the other. Because of Banner's promising future, the possible expansion of the warehouse by additional aisles was already taken into consideration during the planning phase.
Due to the oxygen reduction in the warehouse area, the pallets are transported through four locks including fire doors to the transfer car which carries the pallets to three outbound stations and/or two inbound stations with a corresponding number of buffer locations. Additionally, the inbound stations are equipped with an overweight check for up to maximally 1,500 kg and a profile check. For the rejects handling of the pallets, there is an extra workstation that serves for partial picking as well.
Supply and clearance of the workstations is either effected by manual lift truck operation or by the driverless transport system (DTS) already in use which transports the pallets with the batteries fully automatically to the individual destinations.
TGW software for all purposes
All internal production lines are supplied with "green", i. e. unfilled batteries, from the high-bay warehouse. Storage and/or temporary storage of these green batteries at both inbound stations is realised via the driverless transport system or lift trucks. Exclusively single-item pallets are stored. For storage, a balanced distribution of the items with reference to stock across all possible aisles is taken into consideration. If an aisle is not available, operation will nevertheless be ensured.
The six production lines will be supplied on the basis of the production orders generated in the host system. The outbound order which the host system transmits to the TGW Commander software lists the entire quantity of the order which will then be retrieved respecting the strategies defined. In addition to the storage and retrieval processes, functionalities for rejects handling, quality assurance and inventory have been implemented.
The Technical Managing Director of Banner Batterien, Thomas Bawart, looks contentedly back on this major project: "Our employees in charge have implemented the new high-bay warehouse absolutely smoothly in cooperation with our competent partners led by TGW. I would like to offer my sincere thanks to all people involved for this great achievement." Harald Klucsarits, Head of Warehouse, Distribution Logistics and Social at Banner adds: “We are also very happy with the follow-up support and the service of TGW and we are confident to have established a reliable cooperation.”