DHL Supply Chain invests in an AutoStore-system implemented by Element Logic

DHL Supply Chain has commissioned its first fully automated AutoStore system in Europe. With the compact and expandable system, employees will pick up to 18 million items of goods per year in a fully automated manner.

Teleshopping specialist’s logistics center in Braunshweig, Germany has been operated by DHL Supply Chain since 2004. With the focus on lean processes and extensive investments in sustainable automation, has greatly increased its capacity and efficiency together with the increasing demand from the customers. One of the significant investments is the commissioning of a fully automated AutoStore system, which both saves space at their warehouse, and stores and picks goods in various sizes.

“With the introduction of AutoStore’s flexible and modular solution, we are building on the foundation of our strong growth that we have experienced over the past years. We are sustainably optimizing our logistical processes and are thus ideally equipped for future growth”, Eberhard Kuom, Executive Vice President Finance and Operations at explains.

On the top of the grid, 26 robots store and retrieves the bins. Photo credits: DHL Supply Chain.

Up to 70 percent improved space utilization

With over 20 years of experience in both planning and implementation of AutoStore projects, Element Logic was awarded with the contract for designing and installing the system.

“DHL and needed to be able to meet the demand of a growing range of articles, without establishing additional warehouses. At the same time, it should be automated and offer maximum storage capacity and efficiency in a limited area. Our solutions can meet these criterias. Compared to conventional solutions, the AutoStore solutionoffers a 60 to 70 percent improvement in space utilization”, says Joachim Kieninger, Director Strategic Business Development Element Logic Germany.

26 Robots ensure efficient processes

The product portfolio of contains over 25.000 different items. For the AutoStore-system, Element Logic needed to provide storage space for 40.000 bins on just 1.800 square meters, with no disruptions of ongoing operations. For future expansions, the system can be easily expanded as performance or capacity needs is growing. AutoStore-systems have by far the lowest energy consumption in the market, with an average energy consumption of 100 watts per robot per hour.

“The AutoStore system gives us continuous inventory control and achieves a high level of efficiency in storage and retrieval, allowing us to process the customer orders quickly and reliably,” says Andreas Bicking, Business Unit Director E-Commerce, DHL Supply Chain Germany & Alps.

“In addition, the logistics solution reduces the workload for our employees in the warehouse by shortening the walking distances. As a result, they can take over demanding activities in other areas of the warehouse.”

At ten integrated workstations, the AutoStore bins are presented to employees for commissioning. Photo credits: DHL Supply Chain.

Win-win situation for all involved

“As a compact storage and retrieval system, the AutoStore solution at’s logistics centre is designed for extreme space-saving of small parts storage and fully automated picking of up to 18 million goods annually,” says Kieninger. He continues: “With the compact AutoStore system, storage capacity and efficiency have been significantly increased with reduced space requirements. In conjunction with on-site employees, the system increases the processing speed of individual orders, optimizes workflows for employees and improves operational efficiency. A win-win situation for, DHL Supply Chain and for more than two million registered customers of the omnichannel auction platform.“

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