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Turnkey warehouse system with STILL trucks for BASF France

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Egemin Automation has installed a fully automated storage and distribution system at BASF France for the handling of pallets and boxes. Egemin delivered the system for the coatings plant at the Breuil-le-Sec site, located to the north of Paris. The system comprises a pallet warehouse with two automated STILL VNA trucks, a miniload warehouseand a conveyor system. Thanks to Egemin’s system all of the intralogistics flows are now fully automated and managed without human intervention. For BASF this means an important step forward in the field of safety.

Currently, the site is in the middle of its ramp-up phase and its maximum capacity should reach 2,500 boxes over 2 shifts, or 14 hours. Egemin managed to complete the installation without downtime as planned. With the system, BASF now has a central hub in France whose infrastructure and equipment will be able to cope with production increases.

Production Constraints

The coatings division of BASF France manufactures, develops and markets paints and lacquers destined mainly for the automotive sector. The site, BASF’s biggest in France, employs more than 500 people. The paints and lacquers are used for both vehicle bodywork and repair and vehicle and equipment manufacturers. Over 70 % of production goes to export.

For the BASF management, operator safety, risk prevention and protection of the environment and resources are key concerns. That’s why BASF France decided to perform an initial study into the automation of its intralogistics processes. After all, automation can take various forms and choosing the right combination is no easy task.

Intralogistics Flows

Paints are produced in 0.5 litre, 4 litre and 5 litre tins which are packed in boxes. The boxes are placed on monoreference pallets which are stored in the pallet warehouse. Together with the racking, Egemin delivered two MX-X turret VNA trucks from sister company STILL fitted with Egemin’s E’gv® automation pack. The pallet warehouse provides storage space for approximately 3500 pallets.

Some orders for full pallets are retrieved directly from the pallet warehouse by the automated VNAs. Other orders with multiple references are conveyed to a depalletizer and stored in the miniload warehouse which provides place for approximately 14,000 boxes. Another palletizer reorganises the mixed pallets after storage.

Capability And Experience

Among the various proposals considered by BASF, Egemin’s proposal stood out thanks to the capacity of its concept and its teams’ capability and experience in the integration and synchronisation of intralogistics equipment. This requires a lot of know-how in interfacing and managing material handling systems, robotics and IT equipment.

Other constraints, such as being unable to make major changes to the building’s floor or infrastructure forced Egemin to demonstrate its ingenuity. And, finally, the site’s Seveso classification imposes very strict safety rules requiring the installation of specific equipment, such as integrated explosimeters on the AGVs to detect any leak of solvent vapor.