WOFI Leuchten has been developing indoor and outdoor luminaires in a wide variety of styles for over 60 years. The company was founded in 1959/60 by the Wortmann and Filz families in Sundern, North Rhine-Westphalia. From the beginning, the signs were set on innovation and expansion. According to the company, the implementation of the latest lighting technologies, a strong focus on quality, and a keen sense of design trends have been the course for the company’s secure growth. The company is also well prepared for the challenges of the future. Expansion in China with its own offices and the development of further international markets are driving growth. Since 2013 WOFI Leuchten is a part of the listed global group EVERLIGHT Co.LTD. The logistics center, which with 14,000 pallet spaces is one of the most modern in the industry, also shows that major tasks are expected in the coming years.
Impressive growth flexibility
The WOFI warehouse measures almost 4,000m2, divided into eight aisles and 16 rows of shelving on nine levels. In addition, there is the picking area with over 1,500m2. This extends over two floors, which are connected by a vertical conveyor. Each floor has an input/output track. Every year, around 400 new products are developed that have to be integrated into the production and shipping process. To handle this volume safely, an automatic high-bay warehouse with chain conveyor technology and stacker cranes from renowned manufacturers is used. Among others, three transverse transfer cars with two load handling devices each. Furthermore, the system has five picking stations with three bays each and three transfer stations for the transverse transfer cars.
The history of TELOGS and WOFI luminaires
“Natural, cooperative and pragmatic”. This is how logistics specialist TELOGS sees itself, and this is also how the Hessian company’s collaboration with WOFI began. It would have all started with a conversation among neighbors. The WOFI logistics specialist asked the neighboring TELOGS specialist about a technical challenge that WOFI’s service partner at the time could not get to grips with: The drive wheels of the storage and retrieval machines were causing problems. After a quick on-site triage, TELOGS installed a newly designed wheel for testing purposes. The test run had been successful and had provided positive data directly. Shortly thereafter, TELOGS received an order to re-bandage and install all eight drive wheels. “A lot has happened since that neighborhood story in 2005,” reports Sascha Troge, TELOGS’ key account manager. “The order for the drive wheels was followed by orders for the repair of the conveyor system of the cross transfer cars and a maintenance contract for the fully automatic storage and retrieval machines. We replaced the competitors responsible for repair and maintenance until then.”
TELOGS RetroFit – the technical downager
The growing success increased the demand for WOFI luminaires. The company generated steady production growth, which presented new challenges for intralogistics: The procurement of spare parts. Since the logistics facility had already been put into operation in 2000, almost all parts would only be available as used parts, says Sascha Troge. “WOFI was a storybook case for our RetroFit concept. We prevailed against well-known competitors. In 2017, we were awarded the challenging contract for the complex modernization project.”
Until then, the facility ran in a two-shift operation from 06:00 to 22:00 – in 2019, around one million luminaires were handled in the logistics center. The task was to modernize the conveyor technology and the stacker cranes during ongoing operation. A sophisticated concept had maintained the availability of intralogistics without downtime, while the technology had been brought up to date.
During this first refurbishment at WOFI’s logistics center, the system was upgraded to the most advanced and up-to-date Siemens 1500 series PLC (programmable logic controller). The aging S5 controllers could thus be completely replaced. At the same time, the entire safety technology and BUS technology were also brought up to date. In this work step, a switch concept specially designed for WOFI luminaires was developed, which ensured plant operation during regular shift times. In addition, the completely newly developed TELOGS DISTANCE stacker crane control system with state-of-the-art SEW MOVIAXIS inverter technology was used. It replaced the old DC drives of the eight stacker cranes. With the control technology modernization of the pallet conveyor system over two floors, a holistically modernized and maximally available system could be realized. At WOFI’s request, TELOGS also enabled the continued use of WITRON’s material flow computer, thus relieving the lighting manufacturer’s project budget.
As one shouts into the forest…
“WOFI has confirmed to us a high level of solution-oriented expertise with a fast response time” Sascha Troge is pleased to say. A maintenance contract with on-call service had been agreed. The maintenance takes place twice a year, the on-call service during the two-shift operation is guaranteed with a response time of 30 minutes.