The new Materials Management Center (MMC) of Tognum subsidiary MTU Friedrichshafen, located in the Friedrichshafen district of Kluftern near Lake Constance, was recently opened by Tognum CTO Dr. Ulrich Dohle. He was joined by Herrmann Strampfer, the head of regional government in Tübingen, Andreas Brand, Lord Mayor of Friedrichshafen, and Dirk Reich, member of the board at Kühne + Nagel. Over the next few months, the MMC will be entirely responsible for supplying parts to Friedrichshafen manufacturing plants and will later extend its activities to take in other production facilities in the international network. Tognum, the specialist for propulsion and power solutions, and its new partner Stute Logistics, the Kühne + Nagel subsidiary that is operating the warehouse, together invested around 50 million euros in the ultra-modern MMC.
The MMC replaces several external warehouses which were hitherto used for parts supply and will be implementing leaner logistics to make production more efficient. The center, which covers some 46,000 square meters, is situated in the south of the Friedrichshafen district of Kluftern and is to be equipped with shelf systems up to 14 meters high, some of which are fully automated. These will hold 60,000 different parts for MTU engines and drive systems - from sealing rings and cylinder heads to crankcase housings weighing several tons. The small-parts store alone, which is fully automated, provides up to 100,000 storage spaces. On top of that, there are 33,000 pallet spaces arranged for deep and narrow aisle logistics technology, a wide variety of conventional bay shelving systems, and racks for large-size parts. The loading area, which can take up to 10 trucks, is enclosed, thereby reducing noise emissions from loading and unloading operations.
"As far as catering for production is concerned, you could not imagine a more ambitious project than this one for our new logistics center," says Dr. Dohle, the Tognum Executive Board member responsible for technology and operations who is masterminding the project. Few companies have to handle such a huge number of product variables. "At the moment we’re in the run-up phase and working intensively with our operator to optimize processes so that the MMC will be fit to meet more complex demands later on when full-scale operations are underway," explains Dr. Dohle. The new MMC will not only feed components to Lake Constance facilities, but also provide the production plants in Aiken (USA) and Suzhou (China) with some of the engine components they need. That will turn it into a major hub in the Tognum Group’s global production network. "This is not only the biggest single investment we’ve ever made in Friedrichshafen - it is also a clear demonstration of our company’s commitment to its lead site," says Dr. Dohle He went on to emphasize that despite the international growth of the Tognum Group and the new sites and subsidiaries in the US and China, with another to come in Poland, Friedrichshafen will remain the group’s administrative headquarters, center of technological expertise and parent plant. Of the 10,000-strong workforce employed by the Tognum Group worldwide, around 6,200 work on Lake Constance.
Around 140 to 160 workers are to make up the core workforce in the new MMC. Stute Logistics GmbH, a subsidiary of the international logistics specialist Kühne + Nagel, has taken over the center’s operations. Another 40 MTU employees, responsible for incoming goods inspections, quality assurance, customs clearance, shipment, and general supervision, will also be based in Kluftern.
Dr. Dohle extends special thanks to the state offices and authorities who made building of the MMC possible. To integrate it properly into the landscape, the imposing construction was built into a slope. Its roof is largely greened and there is a retention basin for rainwater.