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Case Study Mobile Workstation

Mobile Workstation MAX State of the Art in the New Logistics Center

Considerably fewer industrial trucks are needed for the current solution, less distance is traveled and throughput has risen significantly. The individual load carriers in Incoming Goods need to be moved much less frequently now. Employees have also cut down considerably on their distances with the Mobile Workstation MAX. Currently 13 mobile workstations are used for incoming goods and order picking. The mobile workstations are equipped with numerous optional accessories including a drawer, beverage and pen holders, scanner bracket, a pullout and the option of holding a thin-client PC.

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Initial Situation

Goldhofer Aktiengesellschaft is a globally operating company with extensive experience and great innovative strength. The worldwide company of today, a market leader in the manufacturing of heavy-duty and special transport vehicles, began in 1705 as a blacksmith’s shop. The result of many years of practical experience is rugged vehicles precisely designed for their specific intended purpose, manufactured in line with the highest standards of technology. Goldhofer manufactures today on an operating site covering more than 100,000m² with over 700 employees.

Before the new logistics center was built in Memmingen, Goldhofer did not use any barcodes in the warehouse area and there was no complete WLAN shielding in real time. All of the employees in incoming goods continually had to walk back and forth between where the goods were and a stationary computer, and they were frequently distracted from their actual work by other activities. These factors, plus a software solution that had not yet been adapted to the necessary requirements and a high volume of pallet movements, stood in the way of an efficient work method.

Goldhofer building exterior view company

Approach to a Solution

Everything was supposed to change beginning in spring 2016: One of the goals of building the new logistics center – essentially a greenfield development project – was to reorganize the company’s processes. The intent was to carry out all work processes directly on the product in the future. ACD Elektronik was involved from the very beginning of the construction project.

The fact that incoming goods were processed in a relatively small area meant that mobility was very important in the search for a suitable solution. Another significant point was ergonomics: Employees should not be exposed to unnecessary physical exertion in day-to-day work.

Incoming goods are delivered to Goldhofer and are immediately sorted chronologically in the receiving area. This ensures processing based on the FIFO principle. With the MAX mobile workstation, the incoming goods inspection is now performed directly at the gates. The mobile workstation accompanies the entire incoming goods process: from quality control through the delivery slip check, posting in the warehouse management system, labeling and printing labels.

There are three stationary workstations in the order picking area. The MAX can move freely between them to ensure efficient work. Since transit time accounts for about 70% of delivery proposals, these processes can be sped up significantly with the mobile workstation. The MAX is also used to clarify special cases, since it provides direct access to all relevant systems as well as scanners and printers.

Result

Considerably fewer industrial trucks are needed for the current solution. Less distance is traveled and throughput has risen significantly. The individual load carriers in Incoming Goods need to be moved much less frequently now. Employees have also cut down considerably on their distances with MAX. Currently 13 mobile workstations are used for incoming goods and order picking. The mobile workstations are equipped with numerous optional accessories including a drawer, beverage and pen holders, scanner bracket, a pullout and the option of holding a thin-client PC.

Andreas Schneider, Warehouse Manager at Goldhofer, is enthusiastic about the solution: “It meets our needs exactly. The portable workstation provides excellent mobility. It also has rollers that move very easily. The MAX is a lean vehicle that was customized specifically for us with numerous options, modifications and accessories.”
Now the employees in Incoming Goods can work directly on the product using the MAX. This has made it possible to create a very efficient solution that cuts down greatly on distances.

Other factors Andreas Schneider stressed in particular were the “excellent collaboration” and support for technical questions: “ACD took lots of time to discuss the technical details. End-to-end support was always top priority. They focused on the optimum solution for the intended application rather than a quick standard solution.”

Future plans call for the use of additional mobile workstations and new modifications are being worked out together with ACD.

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