Harting deploys Körber tech at German distribution centre

  • February 16, 2021
  • Steve Rogerson

Industrial connectivity firm Harting is using software and automation technology from fellow German firm Körber at its European Distribution Centre in Espelkamp.

The centre opened in 2019 and is dispatching up to 10,000 parcels and 200 pallets each day by 110 lorries and transporters.

Harting invested more than €40m in the centre, representing the biggest single investment in its history to increase capacities in light of the company’s growth.

Construction on the 7.6 hectare site started in 2017, with the first operation following the next year. Harting now relies on an integrated logistics system of modern automation and Sap extended warehouse management including a material flow system. Automated guided vehicles are taking over most goods movements. The modern plant has 19 programmable logic controllers.

The warehouse storage systems are in form of a 20m tall high-bay warehouse with 6900 pallet spaces, a ten-aisle automatic small parts storage with 120,000 bin spaces as well as downstream two-aisle shuttle small parts storage serving as a sequencing buffer.

Thanks to many years of experience in system integration, Körber was able to contribute consultation, software and automation to increase flexibility significantly in critical areas. Optimisations were taken up in the 6500m2 picking area in particular to improve the order picking of up to 20,000 customer order items daily, being picked and packed according to individual customer requirements.

“The new centre went live at just the right time,” said Achim Meyer, managing director at Harting Logistics. “The growing challenges of the industry demand maximum efficiency. The expert team at Körber has not only introduced high-performance software and automation but also the necessary process experience for the integration of the entire solution.”

Dirk Hejnal, CEO of Körber Supply Chain, added: “The supply chain is increasingly complex, with more products, from more suppliers, fulfilled through more channels. Technology meant to solve these problems can often add to this complexity. Körber sealed the deal with Harting thanks to our comprehensive range and service offerings, combined with our holistic consulting and implementation expertise. The result is impressive and reduces complexity considerably, especially in the light of today’s volatile markets.”

Harting Stiftung, with headquarters in Espelkamp, Germany, was founded in 1945. The company provides industrial connection technology. Around 5300 employees generated a revenue of €750m in business year 2018-19.

Körber provides end-to-end supply chain systems fitting any business size, strategy or appetite for growth. It can deliver not just software, but automation, voice, robotics and materials handling, plus the expertise to tie it all together.