Efficient warehouse logistics – Partnership between DHL Logistics and Volkswagen, Slovakia’s largest automobile manufacturer

DHL Logistics & Volkswagen

Challenge: To optimize storage areas and processes – DHL Logistics (Slovakia) and Volkswagen.
A combination of electric forklift trucks, warehouse trucks and a mobile ra- cking system from STILL to optimize internal logistics processes.
MX-X very narrow aisle trucks (Man-Up), RX 20 and RX 60 forklift trucks, FM-X reach trucks, tugger trains and mobile racking.

STILL Slovakia has been working closely with DHL Logistics (Slovakia) for 15 years. Within this partnership, they have helped to develop tailored solutions for the efficient use of storage and logistics spaces at Volkswagen Slovakia, the country’s largest automobile manufacturer. STILL Slovakia provides the whole range of forklift trucks, warehouse trucks, tugger trains and racking systems for these solutions.

STILL cooperates closely with DHL Logistics (Slovakia) to achieve the technical implementation of the internal logistics at Volkswagen Slovakia. DHL Logistics (Slova- kia) takes care of the logistics for all the products in Volkswagen Slovakia’s production programme, from plant supply to the loading and unloading of lorries. The Volkswagen plant in Bratislava is constantly evolving to be able to produce additional models, so they are therefore keen to use storage space efficiently, optimise all their processes and improve safety in the workplace.

Intralogistics with STILL

Precise timing is crucial for such an extensive logistics system and it is imperative that the available resources and storage spaces are used efficiently. In partnership with DHL Logistics (Slovakia), STILL has been supplying suitable conveyor technology and efficient warehouse solutions for the Volkswagen Slovakia production plant in Bratislava since 2007. “Long-term partnerships such as these are always a sign of mutual trust and are also confirmation for us that we are capable of responding appropriately to the requirements of key partners and meeting the demands of the automotive sector,” says Marián Fábry, Head of Sales at STILL Slovakia, about the partnership. He adds that the greatest challenge lay in using the storage area more efficiently and optimising processes. Another priority was to guarantee a high quality of service and servicing in the long term.

Wide range of technologies

Volkswagen Slovakia uses a wide range of different trucks at its warehouse in Bratislava and now has more than one hundred forklift trucks, warehouse trucks and tugger trains. Some of the models used include the MX-X very narrow aisle truck (Man-Up), the FM-X reach truck and the RX 20 and RX 60 electric forklift trucks from STILL. The RX 20s are the most popular models and impress with their dynamic acceleration, high speeds of up to 20 km/h and their precise manoeuvrability. The robust RX 60 electric forklift trucks with a load capacity of up to 8 tonnes are also used here and impress with their well-balanced performance as well as their ergonomics, manoeuvrability and energy efficiency. Both models are mainly used for loading and unloading lorries and for placing goods on shelves. The FM-X reach trucks have also proven their worth in the large warehouse. Thanks to their Active Load Stabilisation (ALS) feature, they enable an even faster turnover of goods. The automatic equalising pulse reduces mast vibrations, shortening the waiting time at the rack by up to 80 per cent.

Body construction for small car production provides the ideal usage conditions for smart tugger trains with an electric or hydraulic LiftRunner tugger train frame, and these are the perfect transport vehicles for delivering supplies to the production line.

Custom-made very narrow aisle trucks

In partnership with DHL, STILL developed special MX-X very narrow aisle trucks for the Volkswagen plant in Bratislava, which are able to load and unload goods in the high rack warehouse. The challenge lay in accommodating as many pallets as possible in a hall with a restricted height. That is why the decision was made to use STILL MX-X very narrow aisle trucks with a lifting height of up to 11 metres. “The trucks drive in ‘semi-automatic mode’. They enable the operator to move to a specific position within the warehouse quickly and efficiently. When used in combination with the warehouse management system, they make the operator’s work much easier and increase both the turnover speed and general safety in the warehouse. The trucks’ batteries are constantly being charged while working in the racking aisle. This saves both the time for changing batteries and the costs for building and running charging stations,” explains Marian Fábry, Head of Sales at STILL Slovakia.

Made-to-measure mobile racking system

Each warehouse has its own unique features. That is why STILL offers its customers tailored solutions, customised to their individual needs. The specialists at STILL particularly prioritise the factor of efficiency. One tried-and-tested solution for large storage areas is mobile racking, which can be positioned to fit the perfect location within the warehouse. Compared to conventional racking, a mobile racking system can more than double the capacity and also helps to reduce lighting, heating and cooling costs. Every little detail of its functionality has been thought out – the rails are embedded seamlessly in the ground and a lighting system that is automatically activated by movement contributes to increased safety.

On-site service

Servicing for the trucks used at Volkswagen Slovakia is carried out directly on site by the STILL service location on the plant premises. “STILL’s technicians work in a space that has been specifically set up for service work, has been fully equipped and meets strict requirements in terms of work quality and safety,” adds Marian Fábry from STILL.