Founded 100 years ago, CLAAS is now one of the world’s leading producers of combine harvesters, forage harvesters, and tractors. CLAAS Vertriebsgesellschaft is responsible for machine sales and spare-parts supply within the German market. With six regional spare-parts stores, the company covers the entire country to ensure that farmers in Germany can procure parts quickly.
CLAAS Braunschweig GmbH has been headquartered in the Lower Saxony town of Schwülper since mid-2013. The new regional spare-parts store of CLAAS Vertriebsgesellschaft is also located there, ensuring a supply of spare parts for Eastern Lower Saxony and parts of Saxony-Anhalt.
As the busy time for crop harvesting only lasts 20 to 25 days of the year, especially fast action is required in the event of machine failure. As such, every customer in Germany is a maximum two hours’ drive from the nearest spare-parts store of the leading manufacturer of agricultural technology.
META CLIP Multi-tier shelving system
The two-tier META QUICK shelving system has a fitted platform to provide additional space for storing pallets and bulky goods.
During the summer harvest, every minute is precious to farmers as machine downtime racks up high costs. To enable swift repairs, one of the services offered by CLAAS is to take the spare parts direct to the destination via taxi. The company also has a late cut-off time of 8pm to bring it in line with farm working hours. Items ordered up to this time reach the customer the following morning and the machine is then ready to resume the harvest. CLAAS maintains these long opening hours during the season that begins in May with the first grass cut and ends in October with the threshing of the corn.
To ensure rapid picking of spare parts, flexible warehouse technology with a clear overview was required. The overall planning of the system was carried out with this in mind. META MULTISTRONG cantilever racking systems offer space for long parts. These are positioned right at the gate so that employees do not have to transport long parts (such as knives for cutterbars) through the entire warehouse.
META CLIP shelving system
Up to nine shelves per rack bay are used wherever particularly small spare parts are kept. Like the number, the depth and thus the load capacity of the individual shelves also differ. For heavier and bulkier small parts, the company uses shelves that are 800 millimeters deep with a load capacity of 230 kilograms, while lighter parts are stored on shelves that are 400 millimeters deep.
2nd from left Stephan Dünnebeil (META Area manager), Frank Kirchhoff, head of the regional spare-parts store for CLAAS Vertriebsgesellschaft in Braunschweig
“The warehouse system is so flexible that it is possible to incorporate additional shelving and thus create more storage space,” says Frank Kirchhoff.
The two companies have been working together for over 20 years, with other CLAAS warehouses also using the META modular system. The two-tier racking system is five meters high and is again completely covered with chipboard. This platform holds a load of 500 kilograms per square meter and provides extra space for items such as pallets and lightweight but bulky goods. As so much space has been gained, the company is planning to apply this concept to other spare-parts stores as well.