Arvato uses most robots in one location in Europe

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Arvato Supply Chain Solutions, a supply chain management service provider from Germany, began the use of AutoStore operations in Dortmund today. They will use the largest number of robots in one location in Europe. Approximately 180,000 bins and 280 robots can be used in the new hall.

Arvato Supply Chain Solutions has built the AutoStore system, where robots drive over huge piles of bins of articles, in a new hall with floorspace of 7,700 square meters. The system is specially designed for the rapidly growing ecommerce business of Arvato’s international clients in the fashion industry.

‘Order levels will double by 2024’

Because of the pandemic, Arvato Supply Chain Solutions saw a strong growth of online orders of the last months. Volumes often exceeded the seasonal peak volumes we normally see in the span of a year. The supply chain management and ecommerce service provider thinks the order and inventory levels of its fashion clients will double by 2024.

We invested early in the expansion of the logistics center.

“In order to be prepared for the growth of new and existing clients, and at the same time optimize material flow, we invested early in the expansion of the logistics center and new automation technology”, location manager Christoph Echelmeyer explains.

Construction of the new hall was completed in March

Solutions for warehouse automation are important for Arvato’s digitalization strategy and have been implemented at multiple locations in Europe. The construction of the new hall, which also has a 1,350 square meter mezzanine, was completed last March. It then created the basis for automated processing of incoming goods, storage, and packing. Additionally, Arvato Supply Chain Solutions set up central incoming and central outgoing goods departments with a sorter and packing stations on two levels.

It’s one of the largest automatic small-parts storage systems in Europe.

Ultimately, it decided for an implementation using the AutoStore order fulfillment system, thereby installing one of the largest automatic small-parts storage systems in Europe. Autonomous robots move and pick up self-contained storage bins on a modular, three-dimensional grid. This system uses only 40 percent of space, compared to conventional rack storage systems.

180,000 bins for over 2 million articles

In Dortmund there are roughly 180,000 bins stacked in the grid, providing space for more than 2 million article. This is possible thanks to the special design in which 16 bins, each with a height of 33 centimeters, can be stacked on top of each other.

“The new AutoStore system increases productivity and throughput tremendously at this location”, Echelmeyer says. “With this innovative storage solution, we can easily cope with the massive volume growth in online orders of our fashion clients and are positioned optimally for future growth.”

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