Shelf technology for smartphone displays

If the display of a smartphone is defective or if a special spare part is needed, PHF is the right address when it comes to repair or delivery. In order to be able to organise its internal logistics even more seamlessly, the company commissioned Schulte Lagertechnik GmbH with the planning and realisation of a racking system which ensures the safe storage of the valuable components and greater efficiency in warehouse operations.

It can happen in the blink of an eye. One careless movement and your expensive smartphone is lying broken on the floor. What you need now is fast and professional help. If, for example, the display has cracked or the functioning is impaired by invisible damage, PHF GmbH is the competent partner. The company has its own workshops in Paderborn, where smartphones are tested for functionality and repairs are carried out. In addition, PHF offers in its online shop an extensive range of high-quality spare parts and accessories from the mobile phone sector, which can be delivered within a very short time. It is easy to imagine that there is a multitude of components behind this range of services – e.g. from the display to the display frame to the flex cable, speaker or WLAN module – which need to be kept in stock and which require warehouse logistics that match the company's objectives. And so it was important for PHF to install a warehouse in the relevant hall (1); another hall (2) is rented out to a third party, which fully meets the logistical requirements as a wholesaler and repair company.

When Daniel Pidun, Managing Director of PHF, was faced with the question of how to optimise and make the existing storage method more efficient, it quickly became clear that the only solution was to shift from block storage to storage technology that is clearly arranged and expediently designed (logistically as well as organizationally). On the recommendation of a friendly company that had already successfully used products from Schulte Lagertechnik, Pidun commissioned Schulte Lagertechnik to fulfil his requirements. "In addition to the requirements for logical storage that meets our requirements," says Pidun, "we also attached great importance to theft-proof storage of the valuable displays and other expensive mobile phone components in the preliminary talks. In addition, all work – from planning to handing over the running of the warehouse to us – should be completed as quickly as possible.”

In the run-up to the warehouse planning, it was important to compile the requirements outlined globally by PHF in detail. For Artur Schröder, area sales manager at Schulte Lagertechnik, this included “us needing to take a close look at the spatial conditions in Hall 1 and the goods to be stored, as well as the dimensions of the cartons to be stored.”

The fact that certain smartphone components had to be removed from the cartons and stored in individual containers also had to be taken into account. Once this data – so crucial for exact planning – had been successfully collected, the shelving systems suitable for the task were then integrated into an overall layout in the correct dimensions and in the optimal arrangement for the logistics processes.

In addition to solution-oriented planning, the experts at Schulte Lagertechnik are always concerned with professional implementation and realisation with the aim of finding the ideal solution – functionally and economically – for the operator. The result was a storage system based on shelves and accessories from Schulte's shelving program.

The shelf warehouse in Hall 1 is predominantly designed as a multi-storey facility. There were several reasons for this. On the one hand, there was a need to use the ceiling height optimally; on the other, fire protection regulations had to be taken into account. In the event of a fire, people working in (rented-out) Hall 2 must be able to get to safety through Hall 1. And so, in the event of a fire, a certain part of the area under the multi-storey facility serves as an escape route. In order to reclaim the floor space that could not be used for storage purposes for this reason, the shelving system was designed as a multi-storey system. A platform construction designed as connecting open-grating stairs enable the employees to reach the respective shelf level quickly and thus support the requirements of efficient shelf operation and order picking.

The Multiplus plug-in shelving system with shelf depths of 400 mm and an edge height of only 25 mm was used to accommodate the large quantities – primarily carton-bound – of accessories and spare parts for smartphones from a wide range of manufacturers. Where space was limited, a Multiplus shelf with a depth of 750 mm was installed. The load capacity of each floor is 150 kg. Scanner rails from the Schulte accessories range attached to the shelves contain barcode labels containing all the necessary information about the items in the respective storage location.

In the context of PHF's logistics concept, storage is chaotic on the shelving. As no fixed storage locations are assigned to the articles, the merchandise management system takes over the administration and knows exactly where which article is accommodated. For picking, this means that the employee receives all the information – which shelf, which compartment, which article and in which quantity – on the delivery note printed out via the merchandise management system. In this way, the employee can record the barcode label on the scanner rail and compile the respective delivery.

In addition to the appropriate shelf technology and its efficient interaction with logistics, another aspect played an important role for PHF: theft protection. In order to prevent unauthorised removal of the smartphone components and to secure the warehouse against burglary, the shelving system was enclosed with wire grilles. For the delivered pallets, the designers also created the option of temporary storage in the lockable shelf area provided for this purpose.

A total of 230 rack frames, 1695 Multi-plus shelves, 565 m² of grid back walls and side walls, 133 m² of grid flooring, approx. 65 m² of fence elements for housing the complete system and 1695 linear metres of LED light strips for illuminating the shelves on the ground floor and the second shelf level were installed in the warehouse.

To put the project in a nutshell, the complete shelving system was assembled in just 1.5 weeks and implemented in the shortest possible time after the order was placed, as specified by the PHF management. In addition, the shelving system made it possible to meet the demand for structured and efficient storage and order picking.

(Source: F+H "Foerdern und Heben")


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