Case Study

Ludwig Meister

Ludwig Meister Dramatically Increases Order Picking by x3 with AutoStore


After adopting AutoStore in 2013, Ludwig Meister not only achieved a x3 boost in picking efficiency, but also substantial business growth. With expansions in 2016 and 2022, their system now handles up to 6,000 picks daily, scalable to 13,500, marking continuous advancement in their warehouse operations.

The amount of picks
System uptime
Picks per day

Watch Video: Ludwig Meister's AutoStore Site

B2B distributor for industrial products, Ludwig Meister sought to improve the efficiency of their Dachau, Germany warehouse. With AutoStore™, they consolidated 97% of their inventory into an automated cube storage system and integrated automated packaging, pick-to-light, and transfer cell technologies to enable swift and efficient deliveries. Ludwig Meister consists of a group of eight companies involved in the wholesale trade and servicing of equipment and machinery for the construction, mining, farming, gardening, general industry, and transportation industries. It’s particularly well-known for its range of power tools and hydraulic and pneumatic equipment.


Time to adapt to growing demand

As the company grew over the decades, so did customer demands. As a result, it became imperative for the business to overhaul its order and distribution processes. They were set on remaining leaders in the industry.

Seamless expansion: scaling capacity twice without disrupting operations

In 2013, Ludwig Meister took a significant step forward by installing an AutoStore system, empowered by Swisslog. This initial setup included 20,000 Bins, 14 Robots, and 7 ConveyorPorts.

By 2016, responding to increased demand, Ludwig Meister expanded the system. This phase doubled the capacity to 40,000 Bins and increased the number of Robots to 21, later expanding to 26 Robots. The expansion also included four CarouselPorts, eight ConveyorPorts, and two Transfer Cells, enhancing the system's throughput and efficiency.

The most recent expansion in 2022 further demonstrates Ludwig Meister's commitment to innovation and growth. The system now consists of 60,000 Bins and 37 Robots. Notably, the introduction of 12 CarouselPorts and the installation of a new pick tunnel significantly elevated the system's capacity. The upgrade to 13 ConveyorPorts and the use of two strategically important Transfer Cells underscored the system's efficiency, particularly in handling goods receiving and processing.


Optimizing for future growth

With these expansions, Ludwig Meister not only increased its storage capacity but also significantly boosted its order processing capabilities. The company estimates that with a three-shift model, the capacity could reach up to 13,500 picks per day. Currently, operating with their existing shift model, they achieve a maximum of 6,000 picks per day.

Maintaining Swift Delivery Commitments

Thanks to the AutoStore system's scalability and efficiency, Ludwig Meister continues to pride itself on rapid and reliable delivery. Orders placed before 5 p.m. are dispatched on the same day, and the company offers around-the-clock parcel collection through locker systems. This commitment to swift service, combined with the strategic expansions of their AutoStore system, solidifies Ludwig Meister's position as a frontrunner in efficient and customer-focused distribution

“Not only is the technology itself fascinating, the new warehouse automation system which lies at the heart of our logistics center also fulfills both present and future requirements,” said Max Meister, Managing Director of Ludwig Meister.

"We already changed our plans two times. But for AutoStore, it's no problem to keep up with that change."

Meet Max, co-owner of Ludwig Meister. He explains how they use AutoStore and innovative technology to create clear differentiation from their competitors.

The AutoStore system at Ludwig Meister

The facility occupies a floor space of 620 sqm (6,673 sf). A total of 60,000 inventory Bins form part of the warehouse system, but because each Bin can be subdivided and filled with more than one type of item, over 100,000 storage spaces are available. Ludwig Meister’s inventory includes more than 80,000 items, 97% of which are stored in the AutoStore system.

Thirty-seven Robots effortlessly glide across the AutoStore Grid, picking the goods that have been ordered. 12 CarouselPorts™ and 13 ConveyorPorts™ move goods into and out of the storage Grid, with the total weight of all the goods held in the system at any one time collectively weighing more than 150 tons.

Order picking is supported by a pick-to-light system and can execute 6,000 picks per day, and when necessary, it can be expanded to accommodate 66,000 Bins and 13,500 picks per day. Two Transfer Cells are used for Bin insertion and the cleaning station developed in-house by Ludwig Meister cleans the Robot sensors with compressed air.

The impact of the AutoStore Advantage:

  • System uptime of 99.96% with backup emergency power for business continuity
  • Handles more than 100 individual processes at Ports
  • A x3 increase in the amount of picks
  • In combination with automated packaging, reduced transport volume by 75%, packaging material by 80%
  • 10% increase in on-time delivery rate year-on-year

The employees at Ludwig Meister in Dachau no longer have to do time-consuming and costly manual order picking in the logistics center. This change has led to faster delivery times, which gives the company an edge over its competitors.

“We’re very satisfied with the high picking rate of AutoStore,” says Meister. He adds that if they want to, the company can more than double the system’s picking rate in the future.

Other advantages are the low error rate, correct packaging and labeling, and the energy, space, and cost savings that ultimately filter through to the customers. In addition, warehouse efficiency has led to shorter storage times, which positively affects the depreciation of goods. Customers can now receive the latest, high-quality goods.

The AutoStore can also easily be expanded when the need arises. “With AutoStore, we feel well-equipped for the future,” Meister concludes.

Project specifications

Bins: 60,000
Ports: 12 CarouselPorts, 13 ConveyorPorts, 2 Transfer Cells
Robots: 37 R5 Robots

"Not only is the technology itself fascinating, the new warehouse automation system which lies at the heart of our logistics center also fulfills both present and future requirements"

Max Meister
Co-Owner and Managing Director, Ludwig Meister

"AutoStore helped us to see and also to sell logistics as a differentiating factor. Our on-time delivery has increased. We think this is one of the biggest advantages for our customers."

Max Meister
Co-Owner and Managing Director, Ludwig Meister

Jakob Josten
Business Development Manager, DACH & CEE Regions

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