KNAPP automates Liebherr-Mining’s production supply in France

Press information: Published on in Industry, Technology

Liebherr-Mining, leading manufacturer of hydraulic excavators for open-cast mining, has commissioned KNAPP to automate their production supply and spare parts picking at their Colmar, France location. The solution comprises an automated small parts warehouse and autonomous mobile robots and will bring Liebherr-Mining more flexibility in supplying their work stations and allow for high storage density in their existing infrastructure.

Liebherr-Mining produces large hydraulic excavators for use in open-cast mining at their Colmar location. In the existing high-bay pallet warehouse, all the necessary parts and small parts are stored for final installation and spare parts supply. A new small parts warehouse was commissioned to flexibly provide parts to the work stations and to make the best use of the existing storage capacity. “We decided on a KNAPP system because these ideas are innovative, flexible and cutting-edge in the industry. The project work was structured and always focused on offering an individual solution and to fulfill our wishes,” states Manfred Gast, Vice President of Manufacturing at Liebherr-Mining in Colmar.

Automatic picking and storage system in combination with autonomous mobile robots

The new solution includes the picking and storage system OSR Shuttle™ Evo, three ergonomic Pick-it-Easy series, vfour decanting work stations and the flexible Open Shuttles, that automatically connect the goods-in area and the small parts warehouse. Featuring triple-deep storage, a 37-level rack line system will be implemented, to provide 23,500 storage locations. The existing high bay pallet warehouse will remain in its full size. The new small parts warehouse provides very dense storage and automatically supplies the work stations according to the goods-to-person principle. Manfred Gast views the new solution as ground-breaking: “With this investment, Liebherr is laying the cornerstone to increase the productivity of our intralogistics, to provide our customers with the best possible spare parts service and to ramp up our production logistics.”

KNAPP software package for controlling and monitoring the system

The KiSoft software package by KNAPP is the intelligence behind the solution. It connects to the customer system through an interface and controls the fleet of Open Shuttles, managing the storage and retrieval movements of the small parts warehouse as well as the supply to the work stations. The installation is fully visualized in the software KiSoft SCADA, providing information on the condition of the system and ensuring maximal availability.

The solution in detail – from goods-in to picking

As planned, the system will support Liebherr-Mining in three fundamental processes – goods-in, goods-out and picking. In the goods-in area, the Open Shuttle fleet handles the transport of small parts from the decentralized goods-in work stations to the new storage system. The Open Shuttles blend effortlessly into the plant’s forklift traffic. The goods are then centrally stored in the OSR Shuttle™ Evo. When parts are needed in production, or spare parts are needed, the system conveys them to the picking stations. The goods-to-person principle is used in picking, whereby the small parts are transferred at the Pick-it-Easy stations and picked into containers. Once picking is successfully completed, the containers are conveyed to the consolidation zone, where goods from the pallet warehouse are combined with the small parts by order, and continue on to either production or shipping. When needed, the OSR Shuttle Evo can also temporarily store the order containers.

Startup of the new system is planned for February 2024.


About Liebherr-Mining

Since 1961, Liebherr has been manufacturing hydraulic excavators at its plant in Colmar, Alsace. Construction of mining excavators has also been part of the portfolio for over 30 years. In 2011, Liebherr-Mining Equipment Colmar SAS was established at the same location to cater for the specific requirements of open-cast mining. In addition to Liebherr-France SAS, the production company operates a separate plant in Colmar for the development, production, and servicing of large hydraulic excavators for open-cast mining. Mining excavators from Colmar are used in the mining of gold, diamonds, platinum, coal, iron ore, and copper.

More information: Liebherr-Mining Equipment Colmar SAS

About KNAPP Industry Solutions

KNAPP Industry Solutions is the specialist within the KNAPP group for tailor-made solutions for industrial, manufacturing and distribution logistics as well as for autonomous mobile robots. The Dobl location and the KNAPP campus together form the center of solution development and implementation for these sectors. As a technology partner for intelligent value chain management, KNAPP supports renowned manufacturers such as Terberg, Pankl Racing, Würth, Siemens, VW and Getriebebau Nord in their value creation.