Kriftel, the new Castolin Eutectic Centre for tailor-made European Logistics

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On 28 April 2014 the new Castolin Central Warehouse East (CWE) in Kriftel, Germany, got down to work. Customers in central, northern and eastern Europe are supplied directly from this location. In addition to strengthening competitiveness, the objective of this centralisation is to increase customer satisfaction and perform to the highest possible standards. The central warehouse is managed by Peter Garrad, Customer Service and Logistics Manager, Castolin Eutectic Ireland Limited.

The new European location will cover to the entire Castolin product range. To date, the stock of finished goods have been transferred from Dublin to the European central warehouse, and daily production is being routed through Kriftel several times a week. Moreover, the goods from other national subsidiaries are also concentrated in the central warehouse. This system ensures extremely quick and effective supply processes. Stock levels held in each country are kept at minimum levels.

However, before all products could be stored in Kriftel the site had to be transformed to cope with the new tasks. This meant facing up to difficult challenges given that daily warehouse operations continued throughout the conversion work. Despite the difficulties, the conversion of existing premises into the central warehouse succeeded in only five months. It was necessary to divide up the entire project into four building sections. During the various individual phases, two former production halls were transformed into warehouse premises, 2,650 m2 of industrial premises were dismantled and countless tones of concrete were used in dozens of concrete mixers. All of the factory floors had to be cordoned off for weeks before they could be used again. During the building phases the highly motivated Kriftel team performed an excellent job and worked during several Saturday shifts for repositioning the products. Finally, the halls were cleaned, painted and have now taken on a new shine.

Well prepared for future requirements, including the shipment of up to 100,000 packages per year, the European central warehouse is also equipped with state-of-the-art technology for picking and packing:

  • Two Toyota handling systems: Handling systems with attached guide trolleys and picking trolleys. This system can process up to 10 orders on a picking route with path optimisation.
  • Three Kardex warehouse devices for the storage of high value parts and small parts (7 m high, 4 m wide, 4 m deep), each module has up to 60 warehouse shelves.
  • In the Kardex warehouse devices alone there are currently more than 1,400 stored products. Each device has a capacity of 24 tones.
  • Packing line in U shape with automatic conveying and efficient design for operation with one, two or three employees, depending on the workload.

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