The AL-KO Group restructured its entire distribution logistics from scratch. Part of this project included comprehensive upgrading work on the systems deployed within the shipping centre operated at its Kötz premises.

Alongside the conversion of the conveyor control system from SIEMENS S5 to SIMATIC S7, one key focus was the complete replacement of the outdated warehouse management system, including material flow control in the automated high-bay warehouse, with the SAP Logistics Execution System (SAP LES) plus SAP TRM (SAP Task and Resource Management).

Thanks to the direct integration of SAP LES/TRM (Logistics Execution System/Task and Resource Management) with the underlying SIEMENS control systems, AL-KO dispensed with the material flow controller layer to deploy a two-tier architecture: SAP-PLC.

The AL-KO Group comprises three business segments: Automotive Technology, Garden & Hobby and Air Conditioning. Overall, the group employs around 4,000 people in over 40 companies worldwide.
The Group's largest segment (Automotive Technology) operates from 31 locations and currently employs a workforce of around 2,650.

With a wide range of chassis and component solutions involving the AMC Chassis, trailers, caravans and automotive, AL-KO is a leading international supplier and innovation leader.
At that time, ALOIS KOBLER GmbH began planning the restructuring of its entire distribution logistics. Part of this project included comprehensive upgrading work on the systems deployed within the shipping centre operated at its Kötz head office.

The legacy warehouse management system, "LLS", developed specifically for AL-KO, was replaced in its entirety by the SAP Logistics Execution System (SAP LES), since the existing WMS was incapable of offering adequate options in terms of extensibility, maintenance and backwards compatibility.

Accordingly, AL-KO decided to adopt a future-proof logistics platform based on the SAP software suite. With SAP LES (SAP Logistics Execution System) and SAP TRM (SAP Task and Resource Management), AL-KO now has all of its warehouse logistics processes mapped to a single system, and uses SAP to manage both manual storage and the fully-automated pallet warehouse.

AL-KO now sees itself as superbly equipped to face the future, and can also roll out the SAP LES/TRM (Logistics Execution System/Task and Resource Management) to other sites if necessary.


  • RF online management with WebSAPConsole
  • Pick work centres with touchscreen interface
  • Interface in decentralised SAP LES (SAP Logistics Execution System) to SAP QM (SAP Quality Management)
  • Supply to/collection from production
  • Cross-docking functions


SAP TRM (SAP Task and Resource Management): HBW control

  • Direct link to S7
  • S5 stacker crane control units
  • Dynamic pallet space management
  • Full pallet picking
  • 2 Goods-to-Person pick stations (order picking)


SAP TRM (SAP Task and Resource Management): Forklift control system

  • Automated TO creation
  • Automated task assignment
  • Pallet staging with TRM interleaving
  • Minimising travel with combined putaway/removal
  • Obligatory routes via specific P+Ds

  • Decentralised LES system with standard interface to SAP R/3 ERP core system
  • Staging of production supply areas (PSAs) via incoming/outbound deliveries
  • ??Real-time dynamic PLC control
  • Use of standard TRM transactions (LPOO)
  • Transfer of inspection lot data from SAP ERP (SAP Enterprise-Resource-Planning) to SAP LES (SAP Logistics Execution System)
  • ??ABAP dynpros with embedded ActiveX elements
  • Conveyor system simulation via PLC console

  • Two-tier SAP-PLC architecture (no need for middleware)
  • Increases transparency and improves management of the overall system
  • Reductions in testing and commissioning times
  • Powerful PLC simulation with monitoring
  • Real-time communication with PLC console
  • Reduces outlay for maintenance, service and troubleshooting
  • No deployment of custom-programmed modules, but fully-standardised technologies instead
  • Harmonisation of the IT-driven logistics system architecture
  • Maximum process flexibility

  • Complete integration of forklift control system functionality with SAP LES (SAP Logistics Execution Service)
  • Replaces an external forklift control system
  • Dynamic route determination (travel optimisation for forklifts)
  • Resource savings by implementation of interleaving
  • User-friendly resource management and monitoring in standard SAP

  • SIMATIC S7-400 control station
  • Stacker cranes: S5 115U CPU944
  • Changeover of I/O periphery from Phoenix INTERBUS to PROFIBUS
  • New control systems for cross-wise carts, including new position sensors
  • ??WinCC visualisation system for graphical presentation of the overall facility
Key Facts


  • Kötz (near Günzburg), Germany



  • Approx. 710 inbound deliveries per day
  • Approx. 270 outbound deliveries per day
  • Approx. 128,000 material masters



  • ??3 aisles (2 active aisles)
  • ??2 autom. stacker cranes
  • ??18 racking levels
  • ??3,500 pallet bays/HBW
  • ??1 ID point
  • ??1 large stock removal area
  • 2 picking centres
  • ??2-shift operation (16 hours/day)



  • Start of detailed specification: January 2005
  • Implementation complete: August 2005
  • ??Go-live: November 2005

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