Fresenius invests in Taxi Solution by Helge Nyberg AB and our partner Toyota Material Handling

As the market leader for dialysis machines Fresenius Medical Care sets the standard worldwide. Also in the efficiency of production, the bar is set high, they uses the major carmakers philosophy, Lean Management. To streamline the internal material supply Fresenius has chosen a taxi solution by Helge Nyberg AB and our partner Toyota Material Handling. Currently, about 50.000 dialysis machines is made every year in the main factory, located in Schweinfurt, Germany.

A special platform taxi with transport boxes from both sides.
Frank Schölch, Volker Dumor och Martin Müller
Each taxi trolley has space for either one pallet or two half pallets.

The internal material flow is organized by Frank Schölch, logistics and warehouse manager.
– The tasks are varied. It includes everything between the storage of the material from suppliers and the maintenance of assembly lines and the transport of the machines to the test- and simulation zone. In the distribution department the dialysis devices and spare parts are packaged and sent forward. Each week we have about 3.000 goods receipts and more than 1.500 internal transportations.

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" – For an efficient supply of the main production lines, we need the right Taxi solution.
Frank Schölch, logistics & warehous manager, Fresenius

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The forklift free factory
Since 1979, Fresenius manufacures dialysis machines in Schweinfurt, Germany. Since then, the production area has more than quadrupled. The rapid development is also reflected in their warehouse and production halls. 
Fresenius wants to increase the production capacity further, since Schölch is convinced that the number of dialysis patients will increase globally by 5-7% in the near future.
– In order to meet the market needs, our capacity need to be expanded, he says.
Until year 2020, around 30.000 more units per year need to leave the production line. Production and logistics must therefore be even more effective.
– We strive to organize our processes for the ”Milkrun-principle”, Fresenius responsible logistics planner, Martin Müller says.
– For an efficient supply of the main production lines, we need the right taxi solution. The layout of the factory determines the transport routes to continuously be able to supply all stations, Schölch says and Martin Müller adds
– The directional stability of the taxi train solution is particularly important for us, because of the very tight spaces.
Fresenius decided to buy trucks from its longtime Toyota partner ”Löffler Gabelstapler”. Since August 2014 the material is transported by truck and taxi trolley to the distribution department.
– With the taxi solution we can guarantee the delivery to the picking area of distribution, Volker Dumor says, the local manager for the company Löffler.

Flexible and directionally stable solution
Up to four platform taxi’s that handle up to 600 kg each, can be connected in a train.
– Thanks to the 4-wheel system there’s a excellent curve following. We can manage aisles with a width of 2 m. 90-degree angles are no longer a problem, Dumor says.
The truck pulls currently three taxis. Two of them is handling pallets. For the small load carriers a special platform is used, which can carry ESD pallets with transport boxes from both sides.
– There were special ESD requirements in Fresenius production, Dumor says.
The trolleys were equipped with special wheels for example.

Focus on safety
The connection between the truck and the taxi trolleys were important for Martin Müller.
– Hygiene plays an important role with us and with the electronic solution, we can rule out contamination through leakage, Martin Müller says.
Another sensitive issue is safety. Löffler has equipped its taxi train with a driver assistance system (FAS), which warns the driver and the environment in time and brakes the taxi train automatically if staff is crossing the road.
In the near future, Frank Schölch will deal with the delivery of the main production lines. He is convinced that he has selected the correct taxi solution.
– Now we can transport various materials together, we have minimized empty runs and moves much faster and safer than transportation by forklift trucks. Löffler has not promised too much.