Vertical lift module keeps automotive parts moving

Zimbrick European parts department relocates and reduces storage floor space while increasing worker productivity by 70%.

By ·

Zimbrick European, located in Madison, Wisc., is focused on servicing quality cars like Mercedes-Benz, Porsche and Audi. The parts department is focused on providing quality service to its customers, including 23 service technicians.

When the Zimbrick European operation expanded into a new building, its original 2,300-square-foot parts department was only allotted 400 square feet on the first floor, with the majority of the parts storage in a second floor mezzanine area. “We needed a means to move parts between floors, short of running up and down the stairs every time we needed to store a part or remove a part from inventory to sell it,” explains Steve Stepnock, parts and service director.

So, Zimbrick European installed a vertical lift module (VLM; Kardex Remstar, kardexremstar.com). Now, once parts are received and checked in by a clerk on the first floor, the system is updated to reflect accurate inventory levels. Fast moving, smaller parts are stored in the VLM on the first floor, while slow moving, larger parts are stored on the second floor mezzanine in bin shelving. Selectable access pick windows in the VLM link the two levels and facilitate part sharing in storage and retrieval operations. 

When a service technician needs a part, he uses the computer in the workstall to transmit the request to the parts department, where an employee looks up its location and availability. If the part is stored in the VLM, the request is transferred and the machine automatically retrieves it. “It’s absolutely seamless,” says Stepnock.

If the part is stored on the second floor, a clerk retrieves it and uses the VLM to transport it down to a runner who delivers it to the technician. “The whole idea is not to have our technicians leave their workstalls to procure parts,” says Stepnock.

In its new space, the VLM has enabled the Zimbrick European parts department to support its technicians, satisfy its wholesale business by supplying parts to local Madison body shops, and service walk-in customers. It has also reduced floor storage space by 84%, cut labor and the risk of injury, and increased productivity by 70%.

click here to download the PDF article
click here to download PDF article

 


About the Author

Lorie King Rogers
Lorie King Rogers, associate editor, joined Modern in 2009 after working as a freelance writer for the Casebook issue and show daily at tradeshows. A graduate of Emerson College, she has also worked as an editor on Stock Car Racing Magazine.

Subscribe to Modern Materials Handling Magazine!

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Find out what the world’s most innovative companies are doing to improve productivity in their plants and distribution centers.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Latest Whitepaper
Capturing Labor, Space, and Accuracy Returns with AS/RS
Find out how the demand of e-commerce and digital age expectations are driving the need to automate material handling with AS/RS solutions to improve labor productivity, save space, and reduce costs associated with inaccurate picks
Download Today!
From the November 2017 Modern Materials Handling Issue
A new facility, iPhones and a new WMS allowed cookware manufacturer Lodge to double its business for the fourth time in 20 years and shorten order delivery time from 10 days to three.
10th Annual Salary Survey: The Price of Performance
Let’s put Automatic Data Capture (ADC) Technology to Work
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
The State of the DC Voice Market
A lot has changed in the last 10 years, especially in voice technology. This webinar will cover the state of the voice market, review two leading voice solutions and help you gain a better understanding of the options and capabilities available today.
Register Today!
EDITORS' PICKS
Lodge Manufacturing: Distribution Cast in Iron
A new facility, iPhones and a new WMS allowed cookware manufacturer Lodge to double its business for...
Rochester Drug Cooperative: Robots ready for work
It’s still early stages, but Rochester Drug Cooperative is proving that mobile robotic piece...

System Report: Pouch sorter powers Stage’s fulfillment needs
How a hometown department store chain transformed its e-fulfillment processes with pouch sortation...
Cubing and Weighing Equipment: Measure Up
The use of cubing and weighing equipment is growing beyond dimensional weight applications.