The company’s success stories

Honeycomb storage system for the steel industry

Example: Thomann GmbH/Lindau

So that all the machines can be loaded without waiting, Thomann in Hergatz at Lindau is using a honeycomb storage system from Friedrich Remmert GmbH. A special picking station increases the picking speed by more than 60 percent with an average of 120 –130 picks currently made per day from the extensive warehouse which contains 1,200 cassettes. Thomann produces about 200,000 blanks per year. If Thomann procures more CNC machines in the future, the current performance will be easily increased with the existing honeycomb storage system. “Because of the upturn in the steel industry, we put a new hall into operation at Hergatz in 2009. In the new warehouse today, six times as many items are stocked as in the old sawing centre on the Lindau site, and the tonnage is correspondingly high,” said Rolf Thomann, Managing Director of Thomann GmbH. The new Hergatz site for the traditional company with its 90 employees not only cuts the materials to size for its customers but also stores and transports the steel and procures the consumables (C-parts management). “Our corporate structure gives us the advantage of being able to stockpile all the materials needed by the customer. We therefore function as an extended workbench for the customer in the best sense,” said Rolf Thomann. As a full-service provider, the company stocks more than 1,000 varieties of long goods for its customers.


„Die Möglichkeit, Arbeitsmaschinen beliebiger Hersteller an das Lager anzubinden, war für uns eine grundlegende Voraussetzung bei der Auswahl des neuen Lagers“, berichtet Wolfgang Kleinheinz, Projektverantwortlicher bei Thomann. Denn die bereits vorhandenen CNC-Sägen von Behringer, Kasto und MEP sollten natürlich am neuen Standort weiterverwendet und bei Bedarf direkt an das Lager angebunden werden. Eine weitere wichtige Anforderung war jedoch ein hoher Materialdurch satz: „Auch wenn wir zukünftig weitere CNC-Maschinen anschaffen, um unseren Kunden zusätzlich eine Endenbearbeitung mit Planfräsen und Zentrieren anzubieten, möchten wir ohne Warte zeiten an allen Maschinen arbeiten“, erläutert Rolf Thomann die Aufgabenstellung an das Lagersystem.


The new factory building now contains a Remmert honeycomb storage system which provides space-optimised storage for large quantities of different materials. The heart of the system is a storage and retrieval machine (SRM) with a mechanical push or pull unit to transport the cassettes between the honeycomb and the various stations quickly and safely. Compared to conventional SRMs, this machine provides maximum availability and is easy to maintain.


To significantly increase the throughput of “honeycomb” storage and make optimum use of the up to 45 double cycles per hour achieved by the storage and retrieval machine, Thomann decided to add a picking station. “The warehouse management system provides so-called multi-order picking. This means that the items for several orders are removed from the cassettes in bundles and distributed between the different deliveries during a second stage. This approach has yielded a significant saving in time in comparison to the chronological picking of individual orders. A Remmert picking crane which is mounted above the station makes it possible to increase warehouse output, even for material flows outside the warehouse. Since it is fast and easy to operate, we can achieve up to 200 picks per day (8 h) via the station picking system” said Rolf Thomann. High throughput is also critical for the optimised sawing station, which supplies material to eight sawmills. This is the only way to ensure that the saws never come to a standstill.

Founded in 1845, this mediumsized trading company is now successfully operating in the steel, trade & industrial supplies, industrial safety, components and fuels sectors. Clients include well-known indus trial companies, workshops and consumers.

Results at a Glance:

Space-optimised storage for more than 1,000 different materials
60 percent more throughput due to optimised storage and materials handling
High stock reliability due to integrated weighing technology
Direct connection possible to CNC machines from all current suppliers
Possible expansion potential for future requirements

Technical specifications:

Warehouse size: 40 m × 22 m × 10 m (L × W × H)
Storage capacity: 1,200 cassettes at 3 t payload
Internal dimensions of cassettes: 6,700 × 600 × 300 / 500 mm (L × W × H)
High-performance storage and retrieval machine, 45 double cycles per hour
An additional picking station allows up to 200 picks per day (8 h)
6-saw station
Integrated weighing systems for continuous inventory at the stations
Remmert PRO WMS Enterprise Warehouse Management System with typical steel handling features

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