Optimal storage management for kanban production

Thanks to parallel put and pick operations, the Hänel Lean-Lift® boosts 
daily picking performance while also saving enormous amounts of floor space.

iNOEX has been a leader in modern extrusion technology for more than 30 years. The successful medium-sized business develops and produces sensor, measurement, process and control technology for the extrusion of pipes, profiles, cables and film.

The engineering center at the new headquarters site in Melle, Germany, was consolidated with the manufacturing division. Innovative ultrasound, terahertz and gravimetric measurement systems can be tested and demonstrated on three actual extrusion production lines.
iNOEX has invested in kanban flow production in order to achieve more manufacturing efficiency and flexibility.

A key element in this production concept is a redesigned production warehouse area featuring five vertical Hänel Lean-Lift® storage systems.

The former manually operated container storage area, based on industrial racks with a height of three meters, was reduced in size from 500 m2 to a footprint of just 50 m2 thanks to the modern Hänel Lean-Lift® storage cluster. "We needed this enormous space-savings in order to expand our manufacturing area.

The Hänel lift systems are perfect for use in the kanban process, and they give us more flexibility to cope with current and future challenges," says Oliver Kallert, Head of Materials Management.

iNOEX maintains an inventory of some 6,000 items stored in 10,000 storage positions in the systems. These items are kept in five different carton sizes and safely stored on 200 containers. Special articles for research and development projects are also kept in the space-saving systems, as well as a large number of components needed for prototypes and equipment produced in series. Even long and bulky items, such as cable conduits, are easily stored in the flexible Hänel systems.

The HänelSoft® application ensures smooth and seamless data communication in real time with the ABAS ERP system. Unlike the old manual storage solution, Hänel technology ensures that pick and put errors are virtually eliminated, as are inventory discrepancies. Accurate picking is also guaranteed with Hänel Pick-o-Light®. The flexible Hänel Pick-o-Light®-Vario option is mounted above the retrieval point. This option automatically shines a beam of light from an LED which highlights the position of the item stored on the container. This prevents picking errors.

The Pick-o-Light®-Vario mechanism can point out storage positions of any size on the container. This is very helpful because each container may have up to 160 storage positions. And it makes the order picking process extremely fast.