Weidmüller and guests celebrated the official opening of its new distribution center near Eisenach on May 4, 2023. In his opening speech, Volker Bibelhausen, Chief Technology Officer and Spokesman of the Executive Board at Weidmüller, thanked all those involved in the project for their great teamwork and for implementing the project within the specified time frame. The guests were then invited to tour the new distribution center to gain a closer insight. Weidmüller’s investment in the new building ran into the double-digit millions. As their lead consultant, planning and consulting company io was responsible for the entire implementation process, from the first planning activities to constructing the new-build. The new facility will improve service levels and extend storage capacities.
High level of automation and intelligent building design
The Weidmüller Group’s new distribution center, not far from Eisenach in the Eastern part of Germany, covers an area of 72,000 square meters. Full operations began in early 2023, after only two years of construction and implementation. Weidmüller is revolutionizing its logistics with its new distribution center, largely automating the entire process. End-to-end digitization and networking will make delivery and customer service even more flexible. “The forward-looking and innovative design of our logistics center means we are ahead of the game in meeting future customer requirements,” explains Mr. Bibelhausen, adding: “This is how we provide better customer service and set the stage for further growth, more flexibility and sustainability.”
The new distribution center with goods receipt, storage, picking and packing, consolidation and goods dispatch features several interesting details. An elegant facade reflects the Weidmüller brand and provides the lighting for the operational areas. The skywalk, which is an experience in itself for visitors and employees, leads to the various areas of the building. “This is an intelligently designed building, sitting in perfect ease in the surrounding landscape. The architecture perfectly supports the function of the logistics areas and the office spaces,” says Jennifer Harmon Intl. Assoc. AIA, Design Lead Architect at io.
io’s logistics design makes it possible to flexibly expand the administration, operational and warehouse areas at any time. The workstations are ergonomically designed to promote productive and effective operations. The automatic high-bay warehouse is essentially used for initial storing, from which the automatic shuttle warehouse is replenished utilizing intelligent replenishment control and automatic depalletizing. Order picking takes place at ergonomic goods-to-person workstations, from where automatic packing, lidding and palletizing takes over. “This means we have almost completely automated the process chain, from collection to palletization,” says Fabian Hesebeck, Senior Consultant and Project Manager at io. Insourcing of logistics including building, technology, HR and IT as well as the complete integration of IT from SAP ERP via SAP EWM and MFS down to the control level mean maximum consistency and a high degree of flexibility for complex, customer-specific processes.
“Lead consultant io brought their extensive experience to bear and helped us achieve a smooth interplay of all disciplines, from logistics to architecture and IT. With their support, we created an innovative and expandable site, giving us as much flexibility to fulfill future requirements,” says Maximilian Dolch, Weidmüller’s project manager.