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Tognum America installs goods-to-person mini-load automated order picking system


High density automated storage and retrieval system (AS/RS) for quiet parts order picking

TGW Systems, a leading material handling equipment and integrated logistics solutions provider, announced that Tognum America has installed an automated material handling system in the company’s new MTU Parts Logistics Center for North America, located near Detroit.

MTU is one of the world’s leading brands of large diesel engines and complete propulsion systems for a multitude of applications, such as marine, power generation, heavy-duty vehicles and rail vehicles. Tognum America is responsible for the sales and service of MTU engines and MTU Onsite Energy power systems in North and Latin America.

The project was part of a move to a new 395,000 sq. ft. parts distribution center that now services all North American operations, fulfilling customer orders of diesel products, components and spare parts. The project had a very aggressive timeline, going from contract signing to a fully installed and operating system in less than seven months.

The TGW automation system is very similar to a system that TGW supplied to MTU in Germany about four years ago. “Because of the success of our system in Germany, we decided to duplicate that system in the US,” said Adam Wood, Director of Logistics, for Tognum America Inc. “We had a very aggressive timeline to install this system and TGW stepped to the plate and hit a home run in delivering the system in record time. With two very similar systems, we will now be able to accurately compare the performance of each facility against the other.”

The system includes five aisles of Stratus mini-load cranes with Spectra load handling devices to store 22,500 totes of parts, and a conveyor handling system to feed the mini-load. The ultra-quiet conveyor system transfers trays to five ergonomic picking workstations. These multi-use workstations are used for picking, kitting and replenishment of orders and products. The system also includes Warehouse Control Software, conveyor controls, integrated racking, installation and support.

"The system is so quiet that you hardly hear it running," added Wood. "The totes in the system are metal, so you would think that there would be a lot of noise, but the conveyor is very quiet and there is little noise coming from the totes as they’re being moved."

For TGW, being able to supply a fully integrated high density storage solution linked to goods-to-person order picking illustrates the company’s full integration experience. "TGW was able to provide a complete solution for Tognum America that included the automated material handling solution, Warehouse Control Software, controls, integrated racking, installation, start-up and support," said Larry Strayhorn, President and CEO of TGW Systems. “The tight timeline that Tognum America had for installation and TGW’s ability to meet that schedule further illustrates TGW’s ability to deliver."

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