Due to the immense continued demand on all global markets for brands KW suspensions, ST suspensions, and ap sport suspensions coilovers, we are massively expanding our production capacities under the high pressure. At the present, the high number of incoming orders, the relocation of major production areas, and process changes may in some individual cases lead to missed delivery dates, and we would like to apologize in advance for this. We are diligently working on it and have outlined in this newsletter, what is currently taking place at our Fichtenberg site (KW Headquarter in Germany).
Shortly before completion: the largest construction project in KW’s history
In the past three years, our company area has grown from 21,000 sqm to over 45,000 sqm. The new administration complex with brand new offices, canteen, development workshops, and a prototype construction department has been completed. A few days ago, departments moved into the newly built hall 7, which offers a storage area and further production space of 4,500 sqm! The new goods receiving department is also located in it.
What is currently happening at KW automotive in Fichtenberg
To meet the high demand, a large part of the new production facilities, such as the sheet metal processing with folding machines, laser cutting systems, and laser welding systems, are still in use. We have also more than doubled the raw material processing in our machining department with expanded CNC machinery, five-axis machining centers, and additional welding stations.
Automated pallet warehouse
Only a few days ago, our new and fully automated shuttle and high-bay warehouse in hall 7 went into operation. On several levels, it offers space for 4,300 pallet storage spaces for temporarily stored components such as chassis springs. The robotized warehouse will remain in operation around the clock, and after it has been equipped with all components step by step, we will gain time by reducing the distances in the production process. For example, this warehouse will serve as a buffer and control element, to automatically feed springs into the new paint shop with the expanded powder coating center utilizing the ST individualization program in the customer cycle.
New powder coating center
In mid-June, our powder coating area, which is equipped with two ovens and five painting booths, was launched on the upper floor of the new Hall 7. In the future, it will have the capacity to coat at least 1200 springs per day. ST coilovers and coil springs can be ordered in 18 colors, so we store most of our springs in intermediate storage with a grey primer coat for coating and mark them to order.
Soon fully operational: the paint shop
Hall 7 will also house the entire inventory of the spring goods warehouse with approximately 2,500 positions. The order processing (selection of colors and lettering directly via web browser) and process control of the ST customization is fully automated. Only the actual powder coating is still done by hand. Afterward, the springs will flow into the automatic small parts warehouse.
Automatic small parts warehouse
In the future, this small parts warehouse will be used to store all the individual parts required for the assembly of chassis. In three aisles that consist of 23 levels each, 15 robot shuttles will operate and move 880 containers per hour. Every four seconds they will supply the employees at the “picking stations” with one of the more than 60,000 individual parts that are required for production. This will enable us to accelerate the picking process.
In preparation: new assembly line and conveyor system
The integration of our new assembly line into the ongoing operation is currently running at full speed. For this purpose, the last part of the storage and conveyor technology is currently being installed. We are also integrating the production of our motorsport suspensions into the automated warehouses. In the future, further flexible storage systems will be integrated into this new assembly line. As a result, we are becoming more equipped to respond quicker in all areas.