New logistics sites for Festo in China

Heidelberg - 7.3.2019

io-consultants guided Festo through the concept, layout design and detailed planning stages of SAP EWM and all technical aspects, and subsequently managed the tendering process.

Festo is a manufacturer of control and automation technology based in Esslingen, south-west Germany. The company is currently establishing two new logistics centers in China: Hub Asia, a goods distribution center in Shanghai mainly for the Asia region, and DC North in Suncun (Jinan) that will supply end customers in northern China. The planning phase for both projects was successfully completed at the end of 2018.

io-consultants planned Hub Asia as a semi-automated warehouse on two compact levels, according to Chinese standards. It will be China’s first AutoStore warehouse and will include a large visitor platform with a view of the upper floor and the robots in use there.

Clients stand to gain significant benefits: the flexible and scalable order picking, layout and IT concept – jointly developed by io-consultants and Festo for Hub Asia – features an AutoStore system at the core of order picking that will live up to Chinese demands for innovation and space optimization. The AutoStore solution provides fast small parts order processing with the aid of robots, and will debut in China.

At the same time as Hub Asia was being developed, io-consultants also prepared and managed the concept design, detailed planning and tender processes for the DC North project. While the fast dynamics of the Chinese market posed a challenge to the correct data analyzis and decision-making process, io-consultants successfully drew up the best flexible picking strategies for the warehouse. DC North ties in closely with production and was designed according to ABC and order structures. io-consultants then used the layout design and the defined warehouse processes to prepare the tender documents for the project including the conveyor technology.

IT experts from recently founded io-DigitalSolutions played a significant role in both projects, particularly in defining the warehouse processes and the technical specifications for the SAP EWM-based warehouse management system. Integrating the AutoStore warehouse and optimizing the paperless processes in SAP EWM posed particular challenges. In addition, the technical systems and SAP EWM both had to be customized with a high degree of flexibility to ensure a smooth flow of the various combined processes, such as supplying Festo warehouses in Asia and worldwide on the one hand, and supplying end customers and dealers on the other. io-consultants and io-DigitalSolutions jointly managed the tender processes for Hub Asia.

io-consultants planned both logistics centers from Germany, beginning in December 2017. With the planning and tendering phases now completed, implementation is progressing and construction work on Hub Asia will commence within the next few months.  

Festo is a manufacturer of control and automation technology. The Esslingen-based company currently employs around 18,800 people in 62 countries across the world, and serves 300,000 customers in over 35 industries.

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