The handing over of the keys marked the launch of operation of the new Plant Consolidation Centre (PCC) on the plant grounds of smart France SAS in Hambach, Lorraine. PANOPA Logistique France SARL will perform extensive logistics services there in connection with production of the new smart fortwo model series for the automaker on an area of 17,000 square metres.

“The modern logistics centre was created out of the former production facility for printed matter that we acquired in 2013 and then professionally rebuilt jointly with our partner PANOPA Logistique France. With the PCC we are now able to carry out our logistics processes even more efficiently,” said Dr. Joachim Betker, Président smart France, at the ceremony for handing over the keys to Rüdiger Buß, CEO of PANOPA Logistik GmbH, in front of around 70 guests from politics and industry. About 100,000 vehicles are currently produced in Hambach every year.

“We are very proud of the confidence that smart has again placed in us by awarding us this contract,” said Rüdiger Buß. “PANOPA has been entrusted with logistics assignments at the location ever since the establishment of the plant. We started small in Hambach and have grown with smart’s success,” added Buß.

To operate the Plant Consolidation Centre (PCC), PANOPA Logistique France also invested into technical equipment. Investments were made in the IT system, a rack facility with more than 2,100 slots and scanners, among other things.

The logistics tasks that PANOPA Logistique France performs for smart at the new PCC include putting delivered vehicle parts into and taking them out of storage, empties management, transporting swap bodies and trailers on call according to the Kanban production process control system, container-related sequencing of components and just-in-time delivery to the line. In the receiving section more than 260,000 load carriers have to be handled every year. The outgoing goods section has to manage 220,000 large and 700,000 small load carriers annually. “Furthermore, we are also responsible for complete transport control in smartville,” underlines Charles Braun, Managing Director of PANOPA Logistique France SARL. For this purpose the logistics specialist has set up a special new “one entry point”, via which PANOPA centrally controls all incoming and outgoing shipments and empties pickups for smart and its system partners at the plant.

“We performed the first operational services at the new facility on a test basis at the beginning of the year,” explains Charles Braun. Up to 30 new jobs, created within the scope of the new PCC contract, will be set up at the end of the expansion phase. PANOPA Logistique France will then have a total of 140 employees, including the Faulquemont site.

“First and foremost, we appreciate the high quality of the logistics services and the great commitment shown by PANOPA, even in view of the new demands,” Guy Siebert, head of Logistics at smart France, praises the cooperation. And the next challenge is just around the corner. Charles Braun: “Complete trailer yard management will be carried out with RFID support in future and has to be implemented accordingly.”