Wind turbines – STILL forklifts keep energy supply going.

Industry: Spare parts logistics for wind turbines

Company: Worldwide leading provider of global logistics services. Over 2,000 locations and 75,800 employees worldwide.

Challenge: Central service and spare parts warehouse of Siemens Gamesa wind farms with a range of up to 30,000 articles or 16,000 storage locations.

Solution: Fleet consulting, fleet of various forklifts and warehouse trucks. SAP WMS integration. Rental fleet for flexible coverage of order peaks.

STILL products: STILL FM-X reach trucks, STILL RX 20 and RX 60 electric forklift trucks, individual maintenance and service concept.

Wherever material and information flows are coordinated and synchronized, a wide range of improvements to warehouse processes usually opens up. For the spare parts logistics business of Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy wind turbines, the logistics service provider Schenker Deutschland AG has therefore also purchased modern industrial trucks from the Hamburg forklift expert STILL. The reliable forklifts and robust warehouse technology equipment guarantee maximum flexibility when picking items of different sizes, weights and volumes.

Schenker takes over spare parts business for wind turbines

Siemens Wind Power and Gamesa have combined their wind business in 2017 to jointly design the energy landscape. With an installed capacity of 75 gigawatts worldwide and 27,000 employees, Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy is represented in more than 90 countries with onshore and offshore wind turbines. To ensure that the wind turbines do not come to a standstill due to a lack of spare parts, the logistics service provider Schenker was entrusted by Siemens with service and spare parts logistics. In this way, the company was able to minimize its own inventories and reduce the amount of capital tied up. Schenker has already gained considerable experience in this business, as the con- tract logistics company has been successfully operating a 30 service warehouse for wind turbines from Vestas Wind Systems near Leipzig for quite some time.

Central warehouse for spare parts from Siemens Gamesa

Schenker set up the new central warehouse for the worldwide service and spare parts business of Siemens Gamesa wind turbines in Gallin, Mecklenburg, Germany. Siemens Gamesa organizes the deliveries itself. Up to 30,000 articles are listed in the immense assortment. About half of the assortment are larger articles, such as generators, gearboxes or drive shafts. These are located on pallets in the shelving system. A total of 16,000 parking spaces are available. Benjamin Hensen, STILL‘s sales consultant for Mecklenburg Vorpommern: „Compared to a special warehouse and conveyor system, order peaks in such a warehouse can be processed more flexibly and dynamically with a forklift fleet“.

Flexible fleet of forklifts guarantees optimum processes in the warehouse

In the precise analysis, not only the vehicles were considered, but also the warehouse processes in incoming goods, dispatch, pallet storage, transport and management of the small parts, resulting in a fleet concept tailored to Schenker‘s requirements. Christoph Schultze, Logistics Manager at the central warehouse: „With the STILL forklift fleet, we not only get new vehicles including maintenance and service. The fleet is also scalable thanks to additionally hired forklifts. This allows us to react flexibly to order peaks.“ Sergei Terechow, STILL Key Account Manager responsible for Schenker Germany, adds: „Thanks to our large and diverse fleet of vehicles, we almost always have the right forklifts on offer“. Four FM-X 17 reach trucks in the eight-meter-high pallet racking system ensure precision at the highest level in the storage processes. High handling performance is achieved by the fast transport with three EXD-SF 20 double-deck high-platform trucks. These smart trucks have an air-damped stand-on platform and are up to 10 km/h fast. Ronny Hergaß, Warehouse Picking team leader, adds: „Up to 600 positions are possible with one picking operation. The orders are transferred by the SAP WMS from Siemens Gamesa to the mobile data acquisition devices in real time. SAP takes into account the limited grip height of the pickers when picking with the EXD vehicles“. An OPX 20 order picker has recently been added to the fleet. With the EASY Drive steering wheel, simultaneous steering, lifting and driving is possible without reaching around. This allrounder is mainly used for long transports. Ten EXV Basic tiller units are used to make optimum use of the storage space in incoming goods and shipping. Three RX 20-16 front stackers ensure maximum handling during loading and unloading of the lorries. The fleet is supplemented by hand pallet trucks equipped with scales from STILL. Due to the scalability and flexibility of the forklift fleet, 250 pallets are already stored every day.

Clean, powerful, ergonomic and reliable

Thanks to its powerful electric drive, the RX 60-60 lifts loads of up to six tonnes with minimum environmental impact and high handling performance. This truck is used for handling spare parts weighing up to five tons. Examples are heavy ball bearings for the Siemens wind turbines or bulky cable drums for the power cables of an eight megawatt offshore wind turbine. All STILL vehicle types have a comfortable entrance and very good ergonomics. Ronny Hergaß confirms: „The drivers feel very comfortable in operation. This is also an important reason for the high throughput in the warehouse.“ Christoph Schultze adds: „We are very satisfied with the reliable industrial trucks from STILL. All operations are carried out smoothly“. The logistics manager also likes STILL‘s fast and di- rect service. The response times of the service technicians are short and the repair work is carried out quickly.

Bottom line

With regional distribution centers and specialization in logistics services, such as air freight, Schenker can quickly and efficiently manage the procurement flows from the supplier to the customer‘s location. With the central service and spare parts warehouse in Gallin, Siemens Gamesa‘s wind farms are also supplied to customers on time, thus ensuring the energy supply. STILL‘s forklift fleet, which is tailored to Schenker‘s needs, ensures maximum flexibility and is the prerequisite for transparent, fast and thus cost-effective delivery.