Analysis and realization of a truck dock station and a new warehouse at a Robert Bosch plant

Master's Thesis, 2014
135 Pages, Grade: 102/110



0. Preface

1. Introduction
1.1 Truck dock station function
1.2 Warehouse function

2. Second truck dock station
2.1 Current dock station layout
2.2 Preliminary Study
2.2.1 First Purpose
2.2.2 Second Purpose
2.2.3 Third Purpose
2.2.4 Final solution
2.2.5 Utilization of second dock station
2.3 Profitability analysis
2.3.1 Employee’s cost
2.3.2 No aisles blocked by the material
2.3.3 One movement less in material’s charge
2.3.4 Levelling employees working hours
2.4 Final result

3. Warehouse modifications
3.1 Current warehouse
3.1.1 Warehouse capacity calculation
3.1.2 Raw material process
3.1.3 Finished goods process
3.1.4 Vehicle fleet
3.2 Preliminary study
3.3 Warehouse concepts
3.3.1 Increase the shipping bay
3.3.2 Optimize boxes utilization
3.3.3 Choose the best machine for the warehouse
3.4 Design the layout
3.5 Define the structure
3.6 Profitability analysis
3.6.1 First scenario, repair the current warehouse
3.6.2 Second scenario, new warehouse layout
3.6.3 Increase of productivity
3.6.4 Bigger shipping bay
3.6.5 Faster storage truck
3.6.6 Renting the vehicle’s fleet
3.6.7 Resume of savings
3.7 New vehicle fleet

4. Future aspects
4.1 Project planning
4.2 Material transference

5. Conclusion



List of figures

Figure 1, Current truck dock station layout

Figure 2, Current truck dock station with quotes

Figure 3, Quotes of a truck inside the current station

Figure 4, First purpose schematic representation

Figure 5, Second purpose schematic representation

Figure 6, Third purpose schematic representation

Figure 7, First delivery of the day with external warehouse

Figure 8, Second delivery of the day with external warehouse

Figure 9, Third delivery of the day with external warehouse

Figure 10, Current warehouse CAD plan

Figure 11, Current warehouse layout

Figure 12, Separation of lines 10 and 11 by columns and a wall

Figure 13, Internal Warehouse lines 3-6 (courtesy of BOSCH)

Figure 14, Intermediate transversal passage (courtesy of BOSCH)

Figure 15, Warehouse structure (rack lines 1-13, lateral view)

Figure 16, Warehouse structure (rack lines 10-16, lateral view)

Figure 17, Raw material lines with tri-lateral counterbalanced truck

Figure 18, FIFO lines by means of a roller gravity system

Figure 19, Four different routing strategies according to Hall (1993), Petersen & Schmenner (1999), Roodbergen & De Koster (2001)

Figure 20, Finish product lines with man-up combination truck

Figure 21, Quantities of loads/unloads and linear trends of finished products 2012-2014

Figure 22, Forecast of future trends for finished goods

Figure 23, Electric counterbalanced forklift truck (Source: Jungheinrich)

Figure 24, Manual stacker (Source: Linde)

Figure 25, Train for handling operations (Source: Linde)

Figure 26, Man-up combination truck (Source: Linde)

Figure 27, Tri-lateral counterbalanced truck (Source: Linde)

Figure 28, Transversal and longitudinal positioning for EU pallets

Figure 29, Transversal and longitudinal positioning for American pallets

Figure 30, Maximum height of the pallets in the shipping bay

Figure 31, Current bay utilization

Figure 32, New bays utilization (material placed on floor, rack lines behind blue bays have to be removed in order to leave free space)

Figure 33, Rack box of two pallets [longitudinal]

Figure 34, Rack box of three pallets 800x1200mm (European) [transversal]..

Figure 35, Rack box of two pallets 1000x1200 (American) [transversal]

Figure 36, Current warehouse layout

Figure 37, New warehouse layout cad plan

Figure 38, New warehouse layout

Figure 39, Column line included in the rack

Figure 40, New warehouse structure (lateral view)

Figure 41, Comparison between reach trucks and counterblanced forklifts (Source: Hyster)

Figure 42, A vertical order picker truck (Source: Caterpillar)

Figure 43, Comparison between rack's position in the current (above) and future situation (below)

List of tables

Table 1, Truck dock station project profitability

Table 2, Savings due to avoid blocking aisles

Table 3, Savings due to one movement less in ext. warehouse truck charging

Table 4, Savings due to levelling employees working hours

Table 5, Productivity increase with the second truck dock station

Table 6, Rack lines width

Table 7, Current warehouse structure

Table 8, Total warehouse capacity calculation

Table 9, Raw material process

Table 10, Quantities of loads/unloads/pickings of raw material in 2012-2014 .

Table 11, Finished goods workflow

Table 12, Quantities of loads/uloads of finished products in 2012-2014

Table 13, Storage machines comparison

Table 14, Reach trucks comparison

Table 15, Solver solution for the new layout

Table 16, Racks of 800mm on the extreme right of the warehouse

Table 17, Current rack lines width

Table 18, Future rack lines width

Table 19, Same warehouse structure for the new layout

Table 20, Calculation sheet for the capacity analysis (same levels structure) ...

Table 21, Optimal warehouse structure

Table 22, Calculation sheet for the capacity analysis, optimal and standardized warehouse structure

Table 23, Profitability of the first scenario

Table 24, Second scenario profitability

Table 25, Savings in terms of time and money due to bigger bay

Table 26, Savings in terms of time and money due to faster storage trucks

Table 27, Savings in terms of time and money due to the renting of the fleet 93 Table 28, Total savings in terms of time and money due to increase of

Table 29, Comparison between box types in left/right part of the warehouse

0. Preface

The Bosch Group comprises Robert Bosch GmbH and its more than 360 subsidiaries and regional companies in some 50 countries. If its sales and service partners are included, then Bosch is represented in roughly 150 countries. This worldwide development, manufacturing, and sales network are the foundation for further growth. In 2013, Bosch applied for some 5,000 patents worldwide. The Bosch Group’s products and services are designed to fascinate, and to improve the quality of life by providing solutions which are both innovative and beneficial. In this way, the company offers technology worldwide that is “Invented for life.”

The company was set up in Stuttgart in 1886 by Robert Bosch (1861-1942) as “Workshop for Precision Mechanics and Electrical Engineering.” The special ownership structure of Robert Bosch GmbH guarantees the entrepreneurial freedom of the Bosch Group, making it possible for the company to plan over the long term and to undertake significant up-front investments in the safeguarding of its future. Ninety-two percent of the share capital of Robert Bosch GmbH is held by Robert Bosch Stiftung GmbH, a charitable foundation. The majority of voting rights are held by Robert Bosch Industrietreuhand KG, an industrial trust. The entrepreneurial ownership functions are carried out by the trust. The remaining shares are held by the Bosch family and by Robert Bosch GmbH

Automotive Technology is the largest Bosch business sector. Its seven main business areas are: fuel-injection systems for internal combustion engines, peripheral devices for powertrain control, alternative drive concepts, active and passive vehicle safety systems, driver-assistance and other guidance functions, in-car information and communication systems, and a range of after-sales, engineering-support, and service concepts for the automotive aftermarket. [Bosch Spain, 2014]

1. Introduction

The word “improvement” is one of the most utilized when talking about logistics in general and comes from a big concept called “Kaizen”, which is a Japanese philosophy of a continuous change for the best, never think about having in hand the perfect solution that cannot be improved in future. Today kaizen is recognized worldwide as an important pillar of an organization’s long- term competitive strategy. It is based on certain guiding principles:

- Good processes bring good results
- Go see for yourself to grasp the current situation
- Speak with data, manage by facts
- Take action to contain and correct root causes of problems
- Work as a team
- Kaizen is everybody’s business

In fact, kaizen means everyone involved in making improvements. While the majority of changes may be small, the greatest impact may be kaizens that are led by senior management as transformational projects, or by cross-functional teams as kaizen events. [Kaizen, 2014]

Based on these concepts, this paper presents the solution found to constrast the biggest problem at the plant: the lack of space in the warehouse. Two aspects were taken into account: the single delivery point in use is not sufficient to send/receive materials in time at the plant, saturating the buffer of materials and the warehouse has to be changed in another one optimized for the current/future needs. The needs can be therefore translated in wants, by creating a second delivery point with the respect to the first aspect and by re- organizing the layout of the internal warehouse to improve the efficiency, increase the productivity and optimize wasted time with the respect to the second one.

In Chapter 2, the realization of a second truck dock station is presented. It can be used to increase the number of trucks exchanging material with the plant (from suppliers, to customers, from/to the main external warehouse and from/to a secondary warehouse placed out of the country) in the same current working period, from early morning to early evening.

In Chapter 3, the new optimized warehouse is presented. The current warehouse presents damages in various points (hitted for example by the machines during normal working) and need therefore to be repaired as soon as possible. The idea is to change the actual layout in a new one, structured for faster material handling and more convenient in terms of productivity by eliminating unnecessary movements.

In Chapter 4, the future aspects are analized and described. The internal re- organization of the whole warehouse have to be planned in order to don’t stop the normal operations or at least reduce the problems derived as best as possible.

Finally, the fifth and last chapter presents the conclusions of the work done and the final analysis of the data calculated.

1.1 Truck dock station function

The dock station is the first and the last point to be visited by the material in the production process: it can be seen as a disconnection from external processes to internal ones. Raw materials are shipped by the suppliers in trucks or vans and reach the plant at their designed delivery point, one for trucks and one for vans.

Only for trucks, once entered and positioned in their dedicated station, the platform is locked by a ramp that removes the gap and permits forklift trucks to enter inside and start the discharge of material.

A dock station is a point of possible accidents and is therefore regulated by several security norms.

Raised loading platforms should be:

- Provided with safe access, egress and safe bays for people working at ground level
- Clearly marked along the edges
- Fitted with rails on the non-loading side, to reduce the risk of someone falling off the edge
- Fitted with raised wheel-stop edges to prevent vehicles, such as forklifts and trolleys, rolling over the edge [Queensland Government, 2014]

The light, air and fire systems are also part of the infrastucture, because they have to be customized and adapted with the installation. Every modification to the initial layout must take in consideration a new customization.

1.2 Warehouse function

The warehouse is a sort of big central buffer in the supply chain of the plant. The main function is to store the material pending that next processes start, so it acts as a hub in a logistics network where goods are temporarily stored or rerouted to a different channel in the network. In economic terms, all the time that the material waits to be transferred somewhere else is a waste because it doesn’t give any added value to the goods. For this reason in logistics, the biggest target is to reduce as much as possible this status of waiting.

Thinking about an ideal model of a factory, if the material arrives from a supplier exactly at the time of production’s needs and if the customer’s truck is available exactly when production have completed all products to be shipped, there will be no need to pass through the warehouse (direct exchange, no waiting time). This is almost unrealistic, because of summing various factors (production problems, late deliveries, unwanted facts, urgencies, etc…) internal and external processes cannot be always synchronized.

Three kinds of warehouse can be distinguished:

- Supply warehouse, it is usually part of the production operation and is used to store raw materials, auxiliary supplies and other resources needed for production as well as semi-finished products and finished goods
- Transshipment warehouse, it houses goods for short periods between their transfers from one means of transportation to another. They are frequently operated by logistics providers and retail companies
- Distribution warehouse, is classified into central, regional and local distribution warehouses depending on the area they serve. Central distribution warehouses are generally referred to as central warehouses, while decentralized regional or local distribution warehouses are called supply or delivery warehouses. In supply warehouses, goods from various suppliers are collected and distributed to one or more production or retail operations. In delivery warehouses, goods from production are stored before being delivered to customers [Pfhol, 2004]

Supply warehouse is the one it will be considered for the case studied. This is normally divided in two parts: a raw material storeroom that receives goods from an outside source, stores them, picks and ships the goods to an inside user and a finished goods storeroom which receives goods from an inside source, stores them, picks and ships the goods to an outside user. [Tompkins & Smith, 1998]

In the plant considered, the raw material from suppliers is discharged from the platform in the designed unload point and positioned in a bay that works as a buffer waiting to be registered and located in its place assigned in the warehouse. On the other hand, finished products coming from the production side are handled till the packing point to be correctly prepared for shipping; the material is then moved to the warehouse and located in it to wait its scheduled delivery.

The goal is to reduce as best as possible the movements caused by handling the material, locate it in a way that it easy to find out again (without loose searching time) and displace it in the fastest time (avoiding complicated, duplicate or dangerous movements).

2. Second truck dock station

The possibility to create a second delivery point at the plant has been analyzed. Having another truck dock station permits to increase the number of trucks a day that ship material from/to the plant, to dedicate it exclusively for the external’s warehouse trucks, etc… This need comes from the fact that the current space in the warehouse is not sufficient to locate all the material, so by forecasting an increase of sales, more and more pallets of finished goods have to be moved to the plant’s external warehouse: if therefore in future more trucks will occupy the dock station just to transfer material to it, there will be less time available to receive raw materials from suppliers and send finished goods to customers.

The aim is therefore to study which is the best solution to create a new truck dock station: find its best position, analyze the costs of the infrastructure modifications to be made and the benefits that can be brought by each proposal thought.

2.1 Current dock station layout

The current layout is presented in Figure 1 and Figure 2. There are two receiving point, one dedicated just to trucks (with a spring and a ramp system) and another one dedicated to receive vans of various dimensions (lower load capacity compared to a normal truck).

The inside space for the vans includes a small office of 2,4m ⋅ 5,9m to receive and register documentation regarding the material transported, a bay to locate returnable packages of the supplier, a rotary wrap machine located at top-right and an emergency exit with a walking passage of 1,2m width.

Above the trucks ramp there is space internally utilized by bathrooms, stairs to the first floor and various offices; the last top-right part is used by the warehouse to prepare ships by stocking on floor temporarily the material. Having a look externally, there’s a big space to permit trucks positioning correctly in the ramp or waiting that the trucks station is left free (bottom-left), a wall that delimitates the inside and outside part of the plant (left part), a small parking for cars (top-left).

Figure 1, Current truck dock station layout

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Figure 2, Current truck dock station with quotes

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2.2 Preliminary Study

Before finding the final position of the second dock, it is necessary to measure the space currently available in order to better understand how to optimize it (Figure 3).

A first simple aspect is that the space available for vans (8,2m - 2,4m = 5,8m) is quite the same of the truck’s one (5m width), which means that there’s more space for a van than for a truck.

Even more, when measured truck’s width, results that the 5m of the ramp are more than sufficient compared to the minimum established by the norm to safely entry in it. Trucks measure 3m width (including rearview mirrors), which means that there is 1m each side from the last point of the mirror till the wall. Taking into account these aspects, it is possible to start studying different solutions.

Figure 3, Quotes of a truck inside the current station

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2.2.1 First Purpose

A first purpose viewable in Figure 4 shows that the second dock station can be created close to the existent one with a width of only 4m, by moving below the intermediate wall (which separates the vans and the trucks area) and the small office used to register the incoming goods. In this case, 9m (5m + 4m) width will be utilized, so having said that a truck measures 3m width there’s an unused space of

illustration not visible in this excerpt

Where 1m is free for each side (left and right) of the current truck’s space and 0,5m each side (left and right) for the new truck’s space. While this solution presents the disadvantage of having unused space, it has the plus point of reducing at minimum the modifications to be done:

- Creation of second spring/ramp system
- Modification of entry door (reduced the one of the vans and created a new one for trucks)
- Realization of charge/discharge door
- Office and wall moved 4m below
- Modification of sprinklers system, air conditioned and electricity system

Figure 4, First purpose schematic representation

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2.2.2 Second Purpose

A second idea (Figure 5) is an improvement of the first one, because taking into account the fact that the unused space can be reduced, the first ramp/spring system has been moved up till the minimum allowed (0,5m). In this way, the space calculated in the first purpose has been reduced from 9m to 8m, by standardizing the space available each side to 0,5m (1m between the trucks): the space earned can then be used to stock temporarily material or for other future scopes.

The modifications that have to be done are:

- First spring/ramp system moved 0,5m above
- Creation of second spring/ramp system
- Modification of entry door (reduced the one of the vans and created a new one for trucks)
- Realization of charge/discharge door
- Office and wall moved 3m below
- Modification of sprinklers system, air conditioned and electricity system

The improvement apported by this solution consist basically in 1m more of space for the vans in width side, but represent even a bigger cost due to a modification to the first truck dock station.

Figure 5, Second purpose schematic representation

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2.2.3 Third Purpose

A third purpose presents the realization of the second dock station as showed in Figure 6. The idea is to realize it attached to the bottom wall by removing the emergency passage and leave untouched the current spring/ramp system. A plus point comes due to the fact that by moving the emergency exit below Quality’s offices, 1m width more is earned (not possible for the other two solutions). Therefore, even in this case, the total space utilized by the spring/ramp systems is 9m as in the first purpose, but the available space in the van’s bay is increased.

The modifications to be done are:

- Creation of second spring/ramp system
- Modification of entry door (reduced the one of the vans and created a new one for trucks)
- Realization of charge/discharge door
- Another wall created between second spring/ramp system and van’s bay
- Creation of new sprinklers system, air conditioned and electricity system
- Emergency passage and exit moved below Quality’s office

This purpose has a big plus point that cannot be consider for the other two: the advantage comes from the fact that by removing the continuous passage of persons, forklift trucks that now work with reduced speed (to decrease the possibility of accidents) can work at a normal speed.

Figure 6, Third purpose schematic representation

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2.2.4 Final solution

After having properly studied the advantages and disadvantages of three purposes, the purposes have been passed to the internal Facility Management department in order to be evaluated in economic terms to estimate the costs incurred and the realization time.

The result is:

- The first solution is the cheapest, with an investment close to 100k€ and a difference of only 10k€ compared to the second one
- The third solution is 70k€ more expensive compared to the first one (due to new installations of fire system, electricity and new doors)
- The realization time is two months for the first two, while the third needs four months to be completed

The chosen solution has been the second one, because the standardize dimensions of the two truck dock station allow to earn an area of 1m width that could be used as a returnable packaging buffer (avoiding send it to the external warehouse) or simply a bigger working area. The last purpose has been discarded because even if the passage is removed and the machines can work at higher speed, the increase of productivity doesn’t justify in economic terms the creation of new infrastructures.

2.2.5 Utilization of second dock station

Established that the second purpose is the best one for advantages brought, the next step is to define how this truck dock station will be utilized to maximize the benefits coming from.

As explained at the beginning, the space available in the warehouse is limited and with a future increase of the sales, there’s the necessity to move more and more material to the plant’s external warehouse.

At the moment, the truck that moves material from/to the main external warehouse comes three times a day: late morning (11.00h), early afternoon (15.00h) and late afternoon (19.00h) and needs more or less 50min to totally discharge and charge the platform (utilization of the ramp 150min/day). Once a day, there is a truck that moves material to a second warehouse located out of the country (diary truck).

To understand which solution maximizes the profitability, an accurate analysis has been made on the different usages: taking into account the assumption that the principal need is to earn space in the warehouse, the idea is to use alternatively the two truck station for the material transferred to the main warehouse by leaving all the time a platform in one of it.

A detailed explanation is given in Figure 7, by showing the various phases during the day.

Initially, a platform is positioned in one truck station (it doesn’t matter which one, in this case platform number 1); employees have therefore time to charge it with the material interested until the truck full of material from the main warehouse comes. The charged platform (number 1) has been marked in green, while the one that has to be discharged (number 2) has been marked in red. The truck enters in the free station (2), unhooks its platform and only has to hook the charged one: in this way, only about 15 minutes are necessary to leave again the plant.

Figure 7, First delivery of the day with external warehouse

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The platform full of material (Figure 8) can be discharged and charged again during the next hours without having the same pressure of liberate the truck station as fast as possible. The next truck comes 4h later (at 15.00 o’clock) and the process starts again in the opposite way: discharge platform number 1 and switch the motive part from 1 to 2.

Figure 8, Second delivery of the day with external warehouse

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The last ship of the day (Figure 9) repeats the process already illustrated by the first one. The truck even in this case comes 4h later at 19.00 o´clock.

Figure 9, Third delivery of the day with external warehouse

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After the last shipping, during normal working days there are thus 16h to discharge and charge the platform left (from 19.00 o’clock to 11.00 o’clock of next day), while during weekends even more with 66h available (from 19.00 o’clock of Friday to 11.00 o’clock of next Monday).

With this solution, various advantages are immediately visible:

- Levelling of working time and pressure, where before two people were dedicated to discharge/charge the platform, after just one person can do that with much more available time to complete the task
- Earned space by leaving the material in the platform, because there’s no need to locate and dislocate the material in the warehouse, but it is possible to directly insert in it (1 movement less, direct sending)
- Reduced lead time of the truck from 50min (approximately) to 15min to switch the platforms

The process of switching the platforms will be repeated continuously, this means that the platform will be left nights and weekends: the renting cost of it has to be taken into account as fixed yearly cost to be paid by the plant.

2.3 Profitability analysis

The last and most important step for the project is to analyze the profitability of the investment. The evaluation that has to be made is presented in Table 1 by comparing the investment and the yearly costs and benefits. The project will be finished in September 2014, so for this year just four months of yearly costs and benefits will be considered.

Table 1, Truck dock station project profitability

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The investment represents the amount of money paid by the plant to realize the whole infrastructure (one-entry type), the costs are expenses due to the chosen utilization of the dock stations and the benefits are incomings that prolongs over years that affects just the movements done in charging or discharging trucks. To translate savings in terms of time to money, it is firstly necessary to calculate the cost per minute of an employee and then multiply this value by the total number of minutes per year saved.

A second platform is not currently available and has to be bought or rented from an external supplier, while the cost of unhook the truck and hook again it to the other platform three times a day has to be negotiated with the shipper. On the other hand, it is internally possible to calculate the increase of warehouse productivity derived by the benefits and the time needed to pay- back the investment done.

2.3.1 Employee’s cost

The cost of a basic employee for the company (in 2014) amounts about 50.000 (including taxes) and works approximately 211 days/year per 7,25 hours/day (8 hours minus 3 pauses of 15 minutes), which means

The cost per minute can be hence calculated by

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Every minute worked by an employee results in a cost of 0.5€ for the company. Every year, the cost of the employees increases of about +3% due to inflation and increase of taxes.

2.3.2 No aisles blocked by the material

The material that must be transferred from/to the external warehouse don’t always find available space in the bay and it is temporarily placed in the middle of the aisles block working on them until is totally charged in the truck or stored.

This time has been evaluated by placing a camera in the warehouse and counting the time lost by the employees to move away that material leaving the aisle free and places it again when finished.

Due to different time records depending on the working day considered, a mean value has been taken and estimated as 1,5h per day of wasted time caused by unnecessary movements. The yearly savings are therefore:

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2.3.3 One movement less in material’s charge

Having a platform available all the time, it is possible to remove an unnecessary movement for each charge of material. In other terms, when now the process provides leaving the material in a temporarily bay or store it in racks, after it will be possible to charge it directly in the platform. This time saved can be calculated by knowing the quantity of material pallets charged each truck and the time needed to move them inside the platform.

From historical data, it has been seen that the truck charges the maximum load (60 material pallets) at the beginning of the week and at about 70% during the end of the week.

Considering therefore an average utilization of the capacity at 85%, every ship the truck is charged with

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A forklift machine is able to move 2 material pallets at a time (this number even depends on the height of the box, but in the case taken into account every box is 0,6m high), so the total movements needed are

mov = 51 = 26

By direct observing on field the process, two persons use a forklift at the same time and need approximately 20min (this data comes from a static calculation, considering nor the fastest case nor the slowest) to accomplish the task of charge (or discharge). The saved time for each pallet is

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So, for every charge of the truck, 20min needed to move the material from the temporarily bay to the platform will be saved. In 2014 just four months are considered and +3% yearly increase of employee’s cost has been considered.

Table 3, Savings due to one movement less in ext. warehouse truck charging

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2.3.4 Levelling employees working hours

Currently, the utilization of the truck dock station is about 50mins, composed by: discharge process (20min), charge process (20min) and wasted time in setup and handling of material (10min). This process is done three times a day for about 20 days a month. This results in utilization in terms of time of truck’s station

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Looking at the new solution, all this time will be saved because of the use of the second station. Even more, the truck’s lead time changes from 50min to just 15min, which means benefit of 35min faster material moving with the main external warehouse.

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The new free time of one dock results from the difference of:

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As the company is expanding and from marketing department forecasts there will be an increase of sales during next years, this time might be utilized to increase the number of customer’s trucks.

As a consequence of the previous entries, it is possible to see that there’s no need anymore to dedicate two persons to charge/discharge the truck, because it can be done without hurry until the next truck’s arrives. This fact is even magnified when the platform is left during nights (16 hours available) and weekends (66 hours available).

Where before two persons were 100% dedicated for 150min/day, after just one person is able to do the same job having more time and doing even more things, because it doesn’t matter if he accomplishes the task in 40min or 2h, he must just remind that the platform has to be fully charged before the next truck arrives (or as an emergency case, before the truck has been hooked to the platform).

Table 4, Savings due to levelling employees working hours

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2.4 Final result

The list of benefits is a logic consequence of the main task’s accomplishment: the biggest problem in the warehouse that is the lack of space has been partially solved with the utilization previously explained.

Every day during the whole day, the material that before occupy a temporarily bay in the warehouse will be moved in future inside the platform. Here it can be left until there’s the availability of an employee that fully discharge and charge again the truck.

The space earned in the warehouse can be utilized for various purposes, the simplest one is to prepare one delivery more a day having an average volume of (considering an EU pallet 800x1200)

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On the other hand, the area occupied in the bay and in the aisles can be calculated by considering that the pallets are placed in columns of three each, so it means that

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A mathematical method used to calculate how much time is needed to match the amount of the investment (one entry type) and the yearly costs with the increase of productivity is the Simple Payback Period.

It refers to the period of time required to recoup the funds expended in an investment, or to reach the break-even point. [Farris, Bendle, Pfeifer, & Reibstein, 2010]

Payback period intuitively measures how long something takes to "pay for itself." All else being equal, shorter payback periods are preferable to longer payback periods. Start by calculating Net Cash Flow for each year:

NetCashflow year 1 = CashInflow year 1 − CashOutflow year 1

Then Cumulative Cash Flow:

CumulativeCashflow = (NetCashflow year 1 + NetCashflow year 2 + NetCashflow year 3 +... Accumulate by year until Cumulative Cash Flow is a positive number: that year is the payback year.

To calculate a more exact payback period [Williams, 2012]:

PaybackPeriod =

AmountToBeInvested EstimatedAnnualCashflow

It can also be calculated using the formula:

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- ny = The number of years after the initial investment at which the last negative value of cumulative cash flow occurs
- n = The value of cumulative cash flow at which the last negative value of cumulative cash flow occurs
- p = The value of cash flow at which the first positive value of cumulative cash flow occurs

The calculation of the Simple Payback Period can be therefore done:

Investment = 110 k

Cumulativecashflow 2014 = Savings 2014 − Investment = 10.132 −110.000 = −99.868€

Cumulativecashflow 2015 = Savings 2015 − CCF 2014 = 31.307 − 99.868 = −68.561€

Cumulativecashflow 2016 = Savings 2016 − CCF 2015 = 32.246 − 68.561 = −36.315€

Cumulativecashflow 2017 = Savings 2017 − CCF 2016 = 33.214 − 36.315 = −3.101€

From the following year (2018), all the cumulative cash flows will be only positive. Considering that for 2014 the project will affect just the last 4 months, the payback period is therefore:

Paybackperiod ≅ 3, 5 years

3. Warehouse modifications

The second part of this paper presents the changes done in the current warehouse, by taking as an advantage an obligatory and expensive labour cost to repair it.

A security inspection had evidenced that various parts of the shelf have to be repaired in order to respect the safety norms: this means in other words that during an established period, the warehouse has to be closed partially or fully to permit repair works. Not at all, there are no other pieces available in stock to substitute the damaged ones, so new ones have to be bought. Talking about the space available to prepare shipping before the truck comes, the main problem of the current layout is that the space provided in the shipping bay doesn’t permit to prepare correctly a single shipment, because there’s no possibility to locate in it all the material of a delivery in a dedicated place, but it might be located in a way to better utilize the space available at the moment.

This results in a big problem when it is time to charge the material with a forklift truck in the empty platform: the total time needed to do this process is the sum of searching time plus handling uninterested pallets to take the right one plus charging time of the truck. Evidently, two of these three movements correspond to a big waste of time that repeats everyday for every truck that has to be charged and should be object of study to avoid it.

Based on these considerations, the studied solution will be presented after having explained in details the current layout.

3.1 Current warehouse

The current space occupied by the warehouse is an area of 35 ⋅ 70 m2 with an height of 6m, organized in 16 rack lines of different width; the first line is placed attached to the wall, the last is coupled with a Megamat automatic distributor for small pieces and the other ones are coupled each other to form a unique line. All the rack lines have a maximum height of 6m and are divided in 5 boxes of 1,2m each, which can be even divided in other 2 small ones of 0,6m each.

Figure 10 and Figure 11 show the situation from a top view that permits to better understand the whole arrangement.

illustration not visible in this excerpt

In the bottom-right part it is present the truck dock station already seen in the first project, on its left the blank space before the blocks of racks it is used to prepare ships and as a temporarily buffer before the charge or after the discharge and the blank spaces between the shelf is used as aisles to work with appropriate machines.

Three different type of structure are present (Table 6):

- 800mm width (lines 6-9)
- 900mm width (lines 12-15)
- 1000mm width (lines 1-5, 10-11 and 16)

The lines that are coupled are separated by 20cm minimum security margin, to permit a properly functioning of the sprinkler anti-fire system.

Table 6, Rack lines width

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The racks have different width because part of them come from an old closed warehouse. Neither the aisles width is standard and varies close to 2m. In the middle of the structure, crossing it transversally, a corridor is present to allow employees moving in the warehouse and evacuating in case of emergency, this results in a stock reduction (reduced stock space to allow the transit of people) and reduced forklift’s speed due to possible accidents.

In past, almost half warehouse was a street that has been removed in order to magnify the plant. The structure has been therefore modified and rack lines 10 and 11 present a problem: they are separated by a wall of 0,74m width and 1m height as shown in Figure 12. In addition, five structural columns are placed attached to the wall on the left and on the right side and cannot be moved or quitted due to stability reasons.

Figure 10, Current warehouse CAD plan 27

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Figure 11, Current warehouse layout

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Excerpt out of 135 pages


Analysis and realization of a truck dock station and a new warehouse at a Robert Bosch plant
Hochschule Ostwestfalen-Lippe - University of Applied Sciences
Production Engineering and Management
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ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Book)
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4386 KB
warehouse, bosch, truck, layout, profitability, analysis, delivery point
Quote paper
Fabio Venturuzzo (Author), 2014, Analysis and realization of a truck dock station and a new warehouse at a Robert Bosch plant, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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