Automated warehouse solution provider TGW is implementing an efficient materials handling operation for Switzerland’s largest furniture retailer, Pfister.

Founded in 1882 Möbel Pfister has evolved into Switzerland’s largest furniture and interior design specialist. It currently has around 1,500 employees, 20 stores and an online portal for more than 14,000 products.

By implementing an automated mini-load warehouse at Pfister’s logistics centre in Suhr, TGW will boost efficiency by moving away from the previous “person-to-goods” picking method and increase the retailer’s materials handling potential.

In addition to facilitating “shelf-ready” replenishment of stores and the resulting reduction in labour, the automatic warehouse will also provide more than 75,000 storage locations for an array of Pfister products.

The mini-load warehouse will be erected with a silo construction design, which means racks with a capacity for the 75,460 storage locations will assume the load-bearing function of the building.

TGW will demonstrate its system integrator capabilities by providing the storage and conveyor equipment, including intelligent software, as well as the silo cladding.

The software to control the automatic warehouse will be synchronised with that of project partner Wanko, which is used to control the manual warehousing processes. Furthermore as systems integrator, TGW will carry out all the preparatory work for the photovoltaic, smoke and heat exhaust installations as well as the lighting protection system.

Seven TGW Magito AS/R machines will store and retrieve the Pfister’s textile and home accessories offering. These will be supported by TGW’s new KingDrive conveyor technology for enhanced speed and reliability. A special feature of the new system is the potential to overload the totes, which will allow for ergonomic access to the products.

When commissioned, the solution will be one of the most state-of-the-art automatic mini-load warehouses in Switzerland.