December 02, 2021

H. Gautzsch and AM Logistic Solutions evaluate automatic goods inbound

Together with AM Logistic Solutions, the H. Gautzsch group of companies is testing further automation options for its AutoStore facility: by using the new RiCO-bot pick&put robot, the wholesaler intends to fully automate its incoming goods department.

Achieving maximum item availability with minimum capital commitment and at the same time being able to plan personnel resources better: These are the goals with which H. Gautzsch is working on the automation of incoming goods. To achieve this, the wholesaler has commissioned the general contractor AM Logistic Solutions as a pilot customer to install the new RiCO-bot pick&put robot, which it intends to use for the complete automation of its incoming goods, beyond depalletising and storage. The wholesaler will evaluate this application scenario within the next six months. He will check whether and to what extent all the necessary work steps in his incoming goods department can be automated: Automatically opening cartons, unloading full pallets, checking quantities, storing whole containers and parts units at a carousel port in the AutoStore bins, checking and optimising stock levels. It is also about the best possible configuration of the robot to handle these tasks efficiently. At the end of the evaluation, the company plans to automate receiving for system-enabled products at all of its AutoStore facilities.

Investing in the best possible customer service

For H. Gautzsch, the elaborate technology testing and evaluation is a logical step towards optimising its customer service. As a specialist provider for the electrical trade, the company organises the overnight shipment of switch boxes, electrical cables, sockets and others to companies on site or directly to construction sites. For this purpose, the company accepts orders until 8 PM, processes the orders and dispatches them for delivery by 7 AM – in time for the start of the next working day. The basic prerequisite for this is that the wholesaler is always able to deliver across its entire range – right down to the low-rate items in its portfolio. In order to be able to guarantee this service nationwide, the company maintains its own transport fleet for delivery.

Comprehensive process optimisation

For its inventory-oriented warehouse management, the company depends on short order cycles. For this purpose, all delivered products must be stored as quickly as possible and made available to the customer. Warehouse staff in the incoming goods department have to put a lot of effort into this. “We can hardly find new staff for these tasks,” reports Kai Möllers, operations manager at H. Gautzsch in Münster. “That’s why automating the incoming goods process is an important step to safeguard our service quality.” A task that also played an essential role for AM Logistic Solutions in the development of the pick&put robot: “With the RiCO-bot, we are continuing to develop solutions for the warehouse automation. This gives our customers additional flexibility and further accelerates their processes,” explains Norbert Golz, Managing Director of AM Logistic Solutions. “The holistic approach at H. Gautzsch applies these capabilities in a particularly efficient scenario.” Once the evaluation is complete, H. Gautzsch will roll out the best possible robot configuration at all of its locations and equip all AutoStore ports in goods receiving with pick robots. “We are gradually moving towards 24-hour operation and still need to find out how AutoStore fits in this constellation. In any case, we are working out a quality advantage for a future with the robots,” Kai Möllers sums up.

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