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VAHLE opens state-of-the-art small parts warehouse

• Comprehensive modernisation of production and logistics

• Doubling of logistics area in small parts warehouse

• Reduction of plant energy requirements by up to 25 per cent


Opened the new automatic small parts warehouse of Vahle GmbH & Co. KG today (from left to right): Mirko Becker, Project Manager Jungheinrich, Achim Dries, CEO Vahle Group, Joachim Krieger, Chairman of the Advisory Board Vahle Group, Elke Kappen, Mayor Kamen, Uwe Dieckmann, Works Council Vahle Group, Katrin Bacht, Shareholder Vahle Group, Rüdiger Kuhn, Head of Logistics Vahle Group. (Photo: Vahle GmbH & Co. KG)

Kamen, Germany: PAUL VAHLE GmbH & Co. KG has opened one of the most modern goods flow systems of its kind in Kamen. This marks the official end of the modernisation of the warehouse, which cost €2.5 million. The system provider for mobile industrial applications supplies the connected production facility with individual components from this site. Effective immediately, order picking takes place automatically with the latest warehousing equipment made by Jungheinrich. Politicians, businesspeople and administrators attended the official opening of the plant.

“With this investment, Vahle has catapulted into the future and created the foundation for the sustainable optimisation of all upstream and downstream production processes,” says Achim Dries, CEO & Managing Director of Paul Vahle GmbH & Co. KG. The heart of the new system is an automated small parts warehouse with 7,314 rack storage locations. Boxes measuring 600 x 400 and 300 x 400 millimetres are stored two-deep or four-deep and crosswise. These are serviced by what Jungheinrich views as the most powerful stacker crane of its class, which moves at a speed of six metres per second. A wide-aisle warehouse, cantilever racks for the storage of long goods and flow rack shelving were also built. The logistics area nearly doubled through the modernisation, to around 3,500 square metres.


“With the start-up of the small parts warehouse, VAHLE is the first company in the world to utilise the STC stacker crane which was introduced by Jungheinrich in 2018,” explains Jürgen Wagenknecht, the responsible project manager at Jungheinrich. It has energy storage devices called supercaps which are specially coordinated with the vehicle’s driving behaviour. These store the energy released during braking and rerelease it to the drive when the truck accelerates. “This reduces our energy needs – in particular the power required for the stacker crane compared to conventional systems – by up to 25 per cent,” says Dries.

The VAHLE conductor bar system vConductor VKS 4 provides power transmission. “We have installed the best components that are currently available on the market,” says Dries. “In this way, we not only bolster the performance of our small parts warehouse but also make it possible for our customers to see the conductor bar system live in action.” The system is also fine-tuned for maximum efficiency with regard to space utilisation. By means of an innovative rail design and the drive system, which saves space through its integration in the mast base, the stacker crane realises the smallest approach dimensions in its class. The result is less space required, with a simultaneous increase in warehouse capacity and higher throughput. In order to further increase the order picking performance in shipment logistics, a modern pick-to-light system was installed parallel to the automated small parts warehouse, which is connected to it with a flow rack for up to 600 fast-moving components.