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Swisslog Reference Lehner Versand Warehouse

Lehner Versand invests in automated warehouse system from Swisslog

"Well prepared for peaks in demand": As a result of ongoing expansion, the Swiss mail order company has decided to streamline its logistics processes at its headquarters near Lucerne (Switzerland). They chose an AutoStore system that handles online, catalog and branch-based business. The unusual thing about it is that two floors have been added to an existing building so that the robot system could be installed directly under the roof.


Buchs, 27 Sept 2022 – Lehner Versand, the Swiss mail order company with a history spanning over 39 years, has achieved something special. At its headquarters in the canton of Lucerne, it has equipped an existing warehouse building with a new, state-of-the-art robot warehouse – not next door, but perched on top. As part of the "Skyscraper" expansion project, the store has grown by a fifth and sixth floor. The entire facade of the extension was equipped with solar panels. The project was led by Lehner Versand and supported by the external logistics consultant MWL.

Lehner Versand AG is one of the largest mail order companies in Switzerland. The company offers its customers a wide range of products related to bedding, bedsheets, shoes, garden furniture, fashion, working clothes, perfume and household appliances. The entire range of more than 50,000 different items is available in the online store. Most of these items can also be purchased in one of its nine branches.

Although not accessible to the public, customers can catch a glimpse of the fully automated technology that has moved into the two new top floors added to the headquarters: an AutoStore system in which Lehner products can be stored and immediately picked to order on demand. 

Over 300 AutoStore installations implemented worldwide

"AutoStore has been an established automated system for small parts in warehouse logistics for years and is widely used across all industries," commented Heinrich Lüthi, Managing Director of Swisslog Switzerland, the logistics company carrying out the project. Michael Hirschi, Head of Logistics at Lehner, explains why the mail order company awarded the contract to the Aargau-based company in particular: "Right from the beginning, we had a great deal of confidence in them, because Swisslog has successfully implemented the most AutoStore installations in the world and is the clear leader in Switzerland for this type of logistics automation." Hirschi added: "And the planning and installation went smoothly and quickly for us as well."

Compact warehouse with 20,000 containers

The principle of AutoStore is based on a cube in which containers with goods are placed "side by side" next to and above each other in designated bays. Experts call this “compact warehousing". The solution for Lehner includes 20,000 containers for around 25,000 products. At the top of the warehouse, software-controlled robotic vehicles – 27 in total at Lehner – travel on rails, storing and retrieving containers or feeding them to picking workstations via elevators. The picking workstations are located one floor below. At each of these workstations, there is one staff member who removes the goods from a storage box and prepares them either for shipment or for delivery to a sales branch. The storage container then automatically returns to the cube via the lift, where it is sorted again by a robot.

Sustainable use of space at Lehner Versand, located near Lucerne: two floors were added to an existing building for the robotic storage system. The entire facade of the extension was equipped with solar panels.

Future-proof thanks to expandability

Lehner has initially ordered five picking stations. "But there is always the possibility of adding seven more," says Lüthi of Swisslog, pointing out that the investment in the new technology is especially future-proof. "Lehner is benefiting from the ongoing boom in e-commerce and we are delighted to be able to support the Swiss mail order company's growth with our technology. Part of the far-sighted concept is to plan in buffers for future expansion." The capacity of the current system could also be expanded by adding more robots as needed. "Thanks to these optional extensions, we are very flexible," beams Michael Hirschi of Lehner. "If business fluctuates or we have to deal with peaks in demand, we are well prepared with our new dynamic logistics system."

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About Swisslog

Swisslog delivers data-driven & robotic solutions for your logistics automation alongside reliable, modular service concepts. Collaborating with forward-thinking companies, we are committed to setting new standards in warehouse automation to provide future-proof products and solutions. As part of the KUKA Group, Our customers trust the competence of our passionate staff – more than 14,000 people working across the globe.
www.swisslog.com 

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