The new logistics centre covers 10,000 square metres and is 10 metres high. It stores around 10,000 different part types that are needed on the assembly line.

2021 New logistics centre enables growth

The number of parts needed in tractor manufacturing has continued to increase with the introduction of new model series and new features on tractors. The new logistics centre at the Valtra factory in Suolahti covers 10,000 square metres and has a volume of 100,000 cubic metres with 12-metre-high shelves. By the beginning of the 2020s, around 60 trucks visited the factory each day, unloading around 1000 pallets of parts. The new logistics centre stores around 10,000 different part types, and around 25,000 individual collections are made each day.

The new logistics centre is able to handle a larger number of parts more efficiently and with higher quality. Incoming parts are unloaded from trucks indoors instead of outside in the elements. Costs are reduced by eliminating the need to rent external storage space, while occupational safety is improved by separating forklift traffic from people in the factory. The former storage space in the assembly plant is now used for subassembly lines, where a larger part of the work can be completed before the actual assembly line, thereby speeding up the assembly process.

The inside unloading area can accommodate two trucks at a time. Once unloaded from the trucks, parts are received and semi-automatic forklifts move them to so-called dynamic shelves on the upper levels of the warehouse. These dynamic shelves are not physically marked or reserved for specific parts, but the automation system knows which shelf location contains which parts.

Every second space is reserved for collecting parts needed in production, while in-between shelves are reserved for loading incoming parts. Semi-automated narrow aisle forklifts lift the parts needed in production from the top shelves to the lowest shelves, allowing collectors to access them from the other side of the shelf.

Collectors located between every other shelf receive information from the SAP system about the exact equipment selected by each individual customer for their tractor and a list of what parts are needed to assemble the equipment. A Pick by Light system indicates the correct collection location where the next part has to be picked up and how many are to be taken. A collection trolley automatically follows the collector between the shelves. Once the necessary parts have been collected, the parts are towed in trolleys to the production line.