Dematic Automates the New pgb-Europe High-Bay Pallet Warehouse

Dematic has automated the new high-bay pallet warehouse of pgb-Europe NV in Melle, Belgium.




For this Belgian supplier of fastening materials and hand tools, the logistics automation specialist installed two storage and retrieval machines, a pallet conveyor system with automatic precision measurement and control, and three automated guided vehicles (AGV). The custom automation solution links the existing picking warehouse with the new high-bay warehouse. Overall, the warehouse offers room for up to 13,400 pallet spaces for bulk goods. The system also enables pgb-Europe to move 10 percent more weight per day between its warehouses, significantly increasing its efficiency.

"The Dematic solution guarantees fast and trouble-free deliveries through optimally coordinated processes and the fully automatic material flow between the two warehouses,"

Vincent Pennoit, logistics manager at pgb-Europe NV.

The company supplies department stores, metal companies, superstores and industrial enterprises throughout Europe. The wide range of more than 100,000 small parts items such as screws, nuts or bolts is a major intralogistic challenge. Dematic therefore developed a custom automation solution consisting of a system with two 15-meter high-bay storage and retrieval machines including turnouts, a conveyor system for pallets with automatic precision measurement and control, and three Dematic AGVs with lifting fork.

In the new high-bay pallet warehouse, the company mainly deposits bulk goods from the production sites in Poland and Vietnam and also handles orders for shipments destined for all over Europe. The warehouse complex serves as a buffer warehouse for items that are currently not needed in the picking warehouse. The material flow between the areas is completely automatic: First of all, the pallets delivered from Poland and Vietnam are placed on the Dematic roller conveyor where height, weight and precision measurements are taken. They are then transported by the AGVs to the buffer warehouse. If the stock of a product in the picking zone comes close to running out, the storage and retrieval machines will immediately receive orders from the warehouse management software to deliver new boxes on pallets from the bulk material stock. At a pick-and-drop station, they hand over the selected pallet to one of the AGVs, which moves them to the picking warehouse.

Due to the AGVs, pgb-Europe has clearly increased its efficiency, as Pennoit confirms: "The big advantage is that we no longer have to pick up the goods from the dispatch warehouse, since they are automatically made available. This eliminates the need for employees to search for the correct material." Through automation, pgb-Europe can now process and send orders faster. "We are able to move 10 percent more weight between our buffer and order picking warehouses, up to 65 tons per day in total, all with the same number of employees. Mission accomplished, thanks to Dematic," says Pennoit, adding that, as a result, customer satisfaction especially has increased.

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