New logistics site for Festo in China

io-consultants led Festo through the concept, layout design and detailed planning stages of two new logistics centers in China. Festo is a manufacturer of control and automation technology based in south-west Germany. They desired to establish Hub Asia, a distribution center for goods in Shanghai mainly for the Asia region, and DC North, a supplier for end customers in northern China. The planning phase for both centers was successfully completed at the end of 2018 when io-consultants detailed all technical aspects and subsequently managed the tendering process.

io-consultants designed Hub Asia as a semi-automated warehouse on two compact levels that will be China’s very first AutoStore facility. It includes a large visitor’s platform with a clear view of upper floor operations and automation. Festo will gain significant benefits from this facility, including a flexible and scalable order picking, layout and IT concept. Jointly developed by io-consultants and Festo for Hub Asia this facility also features an AutoStore system at the core of order picking to handle industry demand for innovation and space optimization. Deputing in China, the AutoStore solution provides fast small parts order processing with the aid of robots.

At the same time as Hub Asia was being developed, io-consultants also prepared and managed the concept design, detailed planning and tender processes for the DC North project. While the fast dynamics of the Chinese market posed a challenge to accurate data analysis and informed decision-making, io-consultants successfully drew up flexible picking strategies for the warehouse.

As the DC North center tied in closely with production, it was designed according to ABC and order structures. io-consultants used the layout design and the defined warehouse processes to prepare tender documents for the facility, including the conveyor technology.

IT experts from recently founded io-DigitalSolutions played an instrumental role in both projects as they detailed the warehouse processes and technical specifications for the SAP EWM-based warehouse management system. A particular challenge io-DigitalSolutions successfully integrating the AutoStore warehouse to optimize paperless processes in SAP EWM.

In addition, both the technical systems and SAP EWM were customized with a high degree of flexibility to ensure a smooth flow of combined processes, such as simultaneously supplying Festo warehouses, end customers, and dealers worldwide. io-consultants and io-DigitalSolutions jointly managed the tendering processes for Hub Asia.

io-consultants planned both logistics centers beginning in December 2017. With the planning and tendering phases now completed, implementation is progressing and construction work on Hub Asia will commence within the first few months of 2019.

Festo is a manufacturer of control and automation technology. The German based company currently employs around 18,800 people in 62 countries across the world, and serves 300,000 customers in over 35 industries.