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Polar Spare Parts Handled with a Westfalia Mini Load AS/RS

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

YORK, PA — Polar, the world’s leading manufacturer of high quality paper cutting machines planned for the future when they recently build a new warehouse for centralizing global spare parts at Hofheim, Germany. This 15,608 sf building was designed to store spare parts and organize their direct deliveries around the globe. To meet these goals, Polar selected Westfalia’s tray-based Mini Load Automated Storage & Retrieval Systems (AS/RS) and Warehouse Management System with order picking functionality.

Polar, founded in 1906 by Adolf Mohr, is renown throughout the world in the graphic arts industry for its high quality paper cutting machines. Each year the Hofheim plant produces 2,300 high speed cutters and 1,500 peripheral devices for downstream processes after cutting. In Germany, Polar employs around 500 people, which is only a fraction of its 4,000 strong global workforce based at over 200 branches in 170 countries.

To ensure the worldwide availability of spare parts as guaranteed by Polar, a total of 20,000 items are stored at the Hofheim facility. The components are moved around and stored in trays. Westfalia designed, engineered, and installed the tray-based Mini Load AS/RS to handles these 20,000 items in 3,345 tray positions. It features two storage blocks, each with 41 levels and 41 storage channels, measuring 97 ft. l x 13.5 ft. w x 38.7 ft. h. Alongside it, is conventional fork-lift operated pallet storage for 1050 Euro pallets. Every single-depth channel provides one pallet position with a tray size of 51.4” or 50.8” x 24”. Westfalia’s Storage & Retrieval Machine (S/RM) and Satellite® shuttle, equipped with a pin extractor load handling device, move in and out of the racks at speeds able to move up to 174 single-tray load or 87 double tray loads per hour, with a maximum of 660 pounds. Warehouse Management Software (WMS) provided by Westfalia controls all the material flows throughout the warehouse – controlling both the machines and order picking systems.

Also included in the system are Westfalia’s roller and chain conveyors which transport parts from production to storage, and from storage to the dispatch area. A profile checking system ensures a smooth and safe material flow. At the picking point, a weighing station and barcode scanner gather precise data, which is then available online to the dispatch department.

Since implementation of the new automated spare parts warehouse, Polar has seen the volume of outgoing orders increase three fold, reaching approximately 150 shipments daily. According to Polar’s management, enormous cost savings have resulted from the logistics efficiencies by Westfalia’s Mini Load AS/RS and WMS including order picking. Thanks to significant increase in productivity, Polar is able to satisfy global service commitments far more quickly and with greater customer satisfaction.

About Westfalia Technologies, Inc.
Westfalia Technologies, Inc. is a leader in providing logistics software and material handling equipment for plants, warehouses and distribution centers. Their expertise in combining software (WMS) development with automated equipment manufacturing reveals Westfalia’s ability to deliver turn-key solutions to meet each client’s specific needs with unsurpassed quality and control. To learn more about Westfalia’s products, including Case Packing and Case Handling Systems, Automated Storage and Retrieval Systems (AS/RS) and Savanna.NET® Warehouse Management Systems, visit

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