SKF Astro

SKF Astro

SKF’s central warehouse in Tongeren, Belgium

In November 1995, Astro/WASS was first introduced into regular operations at the SKF division of Logistics Services´ newly constructed central warehouse in Tongeren, in eastern Belgium. The 15,000 m2 warehouse replaced 18 other warehouses in other European countries. The warehouse can hold 100.000 pallets – equally divided between forklift and crane systems. 13.500 lines of orders and 150 tons of goods are processed per day. An order that comes in until two hours before truck departure will be shipped the same day.

"We had high expectations for the WMS system”, says Jenny Claes, Warehouse and Transport Manager at EDC, the European Distribution Center in Tongeren. ”Today we can say that we are very pleased”.

During the WASS system´s first year incorrect picks decreased to an average of under 1.000 per million, and the following years´ results showed continued improvement, until a todays average of below 400. This was also true for reduced truck departure delays (the target is 15 minutes) and a higher degree of service (over 99 percent).

”The most fantastic thing about WASS is the automatic planning”, says Jenny Claes. ”We would never have been able to handle all the orders from our costumers otherwise. WASS provides us with a record of everything that leaves the warehouse.”

”We´re on line, which means that when a costumer order is registered, WASS automatically plans the delivery into the right dispatch. The operators are informed in real time which orders have the highest priority, so all the work is done in the right sequence”.

”Aside from all Astro/WASS´ advantages of improved productivity and reliable deliveries, it´s been easy to teach the staff how the system is used”, says Jenny Claes, Warehouse and Transport Manager at SKF´s European Distribution Center, EDC, in Tongeren, Belgium.

Benefits to SKF

  • Improved degree of service
  • Reduced capital expeditures
  • Improved inventory control

Benefits to the customer

  • Over 20.000 products in one warehouse, which means quick access
  • Fast, correct answers to inquiries and order executions, since all order work is updated in real time
  • Online stock availability information at the European Distribution Center and at the other International and Regional warehouses

The WASS system has computer communication to/from:

  • SKF proprietary ERP system, SCSS
  • LCS (Local Crane System) developed by MTH
  • Scales at packing stations
  • A packing sorting system at the loading areas
  • EDI files giving transportation information
  • GTS (Global Tracking System)
  • Information boards: Information for warehouse staff about goods priority, current tasks and queuing status. Displayed on large LCD panel in warehouse.

SKF has two other Regional Distribution Centers, one in the USA and one in Singapore, as well as several smaller facilities in other countries, in all of which production is controlled by the WMS system Astro/WASS.



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