REHAU® delivers “Unlimited Polymer Solutions,” and is a premium worldwide brand for polymer-based innovations and systems in construction, automotive and industrial applications. Approximately 15,000 employees at 170 locations around the world ensure the success of this independent, privately-held company.
REHAU, founded in 1948, approaches the future by focusing on medium- and long-term goals rather than on short-term profits. The company generates continuous growth through its expertise and innovative capabilities in materials development, systems design and surface technology.
REHAU’s Cullman, Alabama manufacturing facility produces products for the construction and automotive segments. To reach their long-term goals, the facility needed an addition to double the capacity for production of cross-linked polyethylene piping (PEX). The expansion provides for PEX production, warehousing and shipping—and Wildeck Products played key roles in that expansion.
“PEX is an elite product used on heating and geothermal projects,” explains Bruce Claridge, Plant Manager, who oversees the operation. “We must have consistent quality and fast reaction times to maintain the loyalty of our customer base.”
To prepare the pick module solution for REHAU, Wildeck Representative Sheri Hayne of Engineered Products worked closely with Wildeck Outside Regional Sales Manager Brad Lehman. “Brad came to our office, asked a few key questions, and recommended two viable solutions for REHAU,” said Hayne. “Wildeck and Engineered Products took the time to understand the particular needs of our application, which gave us the flexibility to present multiple solutions to meet the specific requirements.”
Hayne and Engineered Products worked directly with the contractor REHAU selected to produce a highly functional distribution facility and recommended several Wildeck® products in the pick module. She explained, “We have used Wildeck products in past projects and the Wildeck® VRC (Vertical Lift) allowed REHAU to transfer product easily without having to use aisle space for forklifts.”
REHAU moved quickly to get the addition up and running. The total project took just eleven months and included a high bay structure and pick module to accommodate the current and future needs of REHAU customers.
According to Claridge, “Our highest priority is to make sure that our customers have exceptional service. The pick module allows us to process and pack shipments efficiently to immediately service our customers. Especially with small part orders, it ensures a positive customer experience.”
The Wildeck® VRC is vital to the successful operation of the pick module. Pick module finger picking occurs upstairs and box picking downstairs. Pallets of product are located in a different section of the facility. With the pick module set up for quick turnaround, it is extremely important to keep all items stocked and well organized.
“The VRC has worked very well for us to separate finger and case picking,” explains Claridge. “The lift moves stocking items up and brings down packed boxes ready for shipment. By separating the two, we do not need to tie up a forklift to reach higher items.
Now, the racks are at a manageable height which has made a big improvement in layout and productivity for our people.”
“Wildeck’s guidance in selecting the VRC was critical,” explains Hayne. “The objective of the VRC was to efficiently, cost effectively and safely move product into the pick module for quick order turnaround. Wildeck excelled in their role as the equipment expert and simplified the process for us to integrate the best solution for the end user.”
As for the Wildeck® Knock-Down Stair and handrail, Hayne expressed the ease of product use and installation. “Wildeck offers both fully welded and Knock-Down Stair systems, which gives us the option to present the customer with the solution that works best,” she said. “In this case, the Knock-Down Stair fit the application and the customer’s budget.”
Hayne continued, “The stair handrail is surface mounted and was easily installed. And, the Wildeck® Lift-Out Gate allows the customer access to that side of the mezzanine without sacrificing space. Weld and paint quality was high, as usual.”
Claridge concluded by expressing his overall satisfaction with the pick module operation. “Our facility is well-equipped for now, and positioned for future growth. As we expand our capacity, the pick module is set up to expand with us. The system is safe for our workers to access and use every day and allows us to meet our customers’ needs.”