Efficient production of building materials 

with label storage in vertical lift system

Knauf is a family business based in Iphofen, Germany, and is one of the leading producers of building materials and construction systems in Europe.

It uses a Hänel Lean-Lift® to store 895,000 labels for around 1,000 chemical products manufactured for the construction industry, taking up a footprint of merely ten square meters. With height-optimized container storage, the entire space from floor to ceiling is used, thus freeing up costly floor space. The area gained as a result of the Hänel Lean-Lift's® compact design means a substantial reduction in the fixed costs of label storage. The plant manager for building products, Matthias Leopoldsberger, says: "As the number of multi-lingual product labels increased, manual storage and retrieval from the shelves became progressively more complicated and time-consuming. To meet growing demands, we urgently needed a more efficient storage system, because if items were placed on the wrong shelf, a lot of time was lost searching for the right labels." With the installation of a separate Hänel Rotomat® carousel, the inventory management of the code labels for paint products was optimized at the same time.

Hänel Lean-Lift® optimizes label storage

The Hänel Lean-Lift® was installed next to a bucket labeling machine, as about 40 percent of the labels it holds are intended for buckets containing chemicals for the building industry. Whenever just-in-time production requires changes, the system can respond flexibly. Thanks to the transparent processes and reliable '"goods-to-user" order picking, it is possible to guarantee high product quality with the necessary quality control based on batch traceability. Moreover, inside the Hänel Lean-Lift® all the labels are protected from light, dust and dirt. In this way Hänel's vertical lift system acts as a versatile link in the chain of production rather than just a buffer storage unit.

Optimum integration, maximum flexibility

To keep the travel distances in the system as short as possible, the labels for the building materials are grouped together on specific containers according to frequency of access. Labels subject to frequent pick and put operations are stored close to the access point. Clear, coordinated allocation of storage positions means that labels are quickly found and valuable time is saved in the order picking process. "The Hänel Lean-Lift® gives us a clear overview, and has finally put an end to laborious searching for the right labels. And all inventory discrepancies have been completely eliminated," adds a satisfied Matthias Leopoldsberger. Maximum flexibility and inventory control are guaranteed by Hänel's integrated storage management system. By integrating the Hänel vertical storage lift in the production process, Knauf has achieved higher retrieval speeds and a significant increase in productivity. The Lean-Lift® is consequently the optimal link between storage and production.

Safety, ergonomics, service

To retrieve the required product, the operator enters a direct request on the Hänel microprocessor controller. The article is then transported automatically to the access point for retrieval at an ergonomic height. This prevents strain injuries and work accidents. The Lean-Lift® and the Rotomat® from Hänel provide greater protection and safety, both for the operators and also for the labels in storage. To ensure continuous availability over three shifts a day, the preventive servicing carried out by Hänel is particularly important.