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DHL distribution center prepares to help Eaton make on-time deliveries work

July 22, 2019

BONN, Germany … In 2017, Eaton chose DHL Supply Chain, the contract logistics specialist within Deutsche Post DHL Group, as its key strategic partner in the development of an innovative and automated distribution center in Rheinbach, Germany. Migration to the new facility is now underway and, once complete, will consolidate Eaton’s distribution strategy for the Electrical Sector in Europe.

With 32,000 square meters of available space, 20,000 unique items in stock and 33 loading bays, the new Rheinbach distribution center will support customers across 65 countries with some 750,000 orders per year. Strategically located near major freight and parcel hubs, the facility boasts fast connections to all transport methods and nearby international ports of entry, greatly improving the total lead time of stored products.

The Rheinbach site joins two other DHL-managed locations in Pohorelice, Czech Republic, and Coalville, UK, which together will amplify Eaton’s ability to support growth, meet capacity demands and drive competitive advantage by better serving customers across the region.

Developed exclusively for Eaton’s use, progress has been rapid since ground was first broken at the Rheinbach greenfield site in March 2018. Construction was completed by December the same year, with Eaton staff from its Meckenheim distribution center opting to join DHL.

After conducting rigorous process assurance, Eaton physically migrated its Export and Value Added Service storage to the Rheinbach facility in February. The site has since also undergone extensive user acceptance testing for both the shop floor and its IT systems.

The migration of Eaton’s other distribution centers into the new site is happening in a three-phase approach during the course of this year, alongside business-as-usual. The first of two migrations from Eaton’s existing Meckenheim distribution center began on June 24, with the second expected to start in fall 2019. Eaton’s Power Quality storage is also moving over to the Rheinbach facility in the coming months. Customer deliveries will start this summer and ramp up until the entire migration process is completed by the end of 2019.

Project leader Pim Geerdink comments: “With this state-of-the-art facility in Rheinbach, we can supercharge customer service and satisfaction across Western Europe and beyond. As logistics specialists, DHL is very well placed to help us serve our customers in a more optimized way and accelerate our own business growth. We now have the perfect combination of expert support and innovative warehouse technology to do just that”.

The new Rheinbach site will also boast extensive warehouse automation. With 110,000 bins in fully automated storage locations, the facility supports flexible picking based on demand and can process up to 17,000 order lines per day. A depalletizing robot also enables automated inbound processing. Testing of the facility’s automated systems began in June, with a ‘go live’ date set for fall 2019.

As both DHL and Eaton are firmly committed to sustainability, the new Rheinbach facility was built to meet the German Sustainable Building Council’s 2015 Gold Standard. Eaton’s own power management solutions are integrated throughout the site to minimize its energy and environmental footprint—including LED and emergency lighting, preparation for energy storage capabilities, and low and medium voltage power distribution.

Klaus Gaeb, vice president Supply Chain and Operational Excellence, EMEA, adds: “Our business has grown fast over the past decade, making it essential to review our supply chain strategy. DHL has been an excellent strategic partner on this journey, working closely with us to develop a tailor-made logistics solution that’s more optimized, flexible and efficient. Once fully operational, our new Rheinbach distribution center will sharpen our competitive edge, while also offering DHL staff an exceptionally safe and sustainable workplace thanks to our in-built solutions”.

Eaton is a power management company with 2018 sales of $21.6 billion. We provide energy-efficient solutions that help our customers effectively manage electrical, hydraulic and mechanical power more efficiently, safely and sustainably. Eaton is dedicated to improving the quality of life and the environment through the use of power management technologies and services. Eaton has approximately 100,000 employees and sells products to customers in more than 175 countries. For more information, visit Eaton.com.

Contact (for journalist enquiries)

Nathalie Lapoirie, Corporate Communications Manager, EMEA,
nathalielapoirie@eaton.com,
tel: +41 21 811 46 47

DHL has been an exceptional strategic partner on this journey, working closely with us to develop a tailor-made logistics solution that’s more optimized, flexible and efficient.
Klaus Gaeb, vice president Supply Chain and Operational Excellence, EMEA