Drevo Trust, one of the largest suppliers of products for furniture production and interior equipment in the Czech Republic, commissioned a new warehouse for the storage of sheet materials – and it is one of the first automatic sheet material warehouses in the country.

The warehouse was completed by OHRA, a market leader for cantilever racks, in close co-operation with the partner company Köttgen, which supplied the storage and retrieval machines (SRM).

Storage and retrieval, picking and provision of the order-related packages are fully automated, which not only increases the efficiency of the entire storage and order picking process, but also enables a high area utilisation and reduces damage to the goods.

The concept of using the advantages of two-stage picking is completely new. An SRM handles the storage and retrieval of packages in the warehouse and if a shipping order requires the picking of different individual sheets, a vacuum manipulator has the corresponding articles ready for shipping, whereby several orders can be processed in parallel. Thus, two separate systems put the orders together very efficiently in the smallest of spaces.

In particular, laminated particleboard and worktops in various dimensions and designs are stored in Drevo Trust’s new central warehouse. In total, the warehouse has space for more than 3,400 of these packages, which can weigh up to two tons and are usually 2800mm x 2070mm in size. From these, the order-related customer packages are picked for dispatch to the end customers and branches of Drevo Trust.

OHRA manufactures all the load-bearing elements of its racks from solid hot rolled steel profiles and was, therefore, able to offer a high load-bearing capacity and a particularly slim design – prerequisites for the high-density storage utilisation in the new 11m-high warehouse.

OHRA’s many years of experience in the implementation of fully automated wood storage systems was also an advantage. The racking specialist was involved in the design of the warehouse and worked closely with Köttgen, the SRM supplier. This way, the interfaces between the racking system and operating devices could be precisely coordinated and smooth automatic processes are guaranteed.

OHRA supplied a total of seven doublesided and two single-sided, 57m-long cantilever racks and the eight aisles are served by two SRMs. They store the packages chaotically, then transport them to a transverse shelf installed on the front side of the rack aisles. A structural steel platform, also provided by OHRA, is directly connected to this shelf. An automatic vacuum system is installed on top, which holds the required individual sheets ready in parallel stacks for up to five customer orders.

The fully assembled customer orders are then transported by the SRM to the transfer point, from where they are finally removed by a forklift for loading.

The entire process is controlled by a warehouse management system (WMS) and automation system, which was developed by Drevo Trust. In this way, customer orders are picked automatically in a two-shift operation.

Drevo Trust said compared to the storage systems it previously used, the new warehouse offers a significantly better use of space, while damage to the goods and the time required for picking have been significantly reduced. In addition, the picking quality has improved and errors in the compilation of customer packages have been minimised. The new warehouse went into operation in mid-2019, and Drevo Trust has already commissioned OHRA to build additional warehouses.