Celebrates 100th birthday
On September 23, 2022, Kardex Mlog will not be presenting any further developments in intralogistics for a change. Instead, the company based in Neuenstadt am Kocher will be celebrating its 100th birthday. For this anniversary, all current and many former employees are invited to review together the unique and long-standing success story. At the Küffnerhof conference and seminar center in Langenbrettach-Neudeck, a varied supporting program awaits the approximately 400 guests.
“At Kardex Mlog, we normally deal with current customer challenges and future-oriented solutions. For the company’s 100th anniversary, we allow ourselves to take a look at the past. There we see the history of intralogistics, which we have helped to shape from the very beginning and which we have shaped to this day through many ideas, developments and patents,” explains Hans-Jürgen Heitzer, Head of Division Kardex Mlog.
The story begins in 1922 with the founding of the steel construction company Erwin Mehne. While the company initially concentrated on the construction of steel structures, bridges, containers, buildings and halls, departments for crane construction, mechanical engineering and materials handling technology were established in the 1960s. In 1966, the first order for five order pickers followed for the central spare parts warehouse of the then Fiat Automobil AG in Heilbronn. As early as 1968, the first automatic high-bay warehouse (HRL) in silo design with a height of 25.8 m was built – a technological milestone with a rail- and floor-guided storage and retrieval unit (SRU) developed in-house. The solution worked much more precisely than the top-guided stacker cranes that had been common until then.
In the 1970s, Erwin Mehne made a name for itself as a general contractor and several more high-bay warehouses were built. The highlight of this era was the automatic high-bay warehouse with conveyor technology and order-picking area developed and manufactured in-house for Vereinigte Papierfabriken in Feuchtwangen in 1974.
The 1980s were characterized by the introduction of programmable logic controllers (PLC), which were first used at Erwin Mehne in 1981 in a fully automatic HRL for Daimler.
In 1989, the company merged with Man Lager- und Systemtechnik, founded in 1974, and Wolffkran. As a subsidiary of Man GHH based in Oberhausen, the company name was changed to Man GHH Logistics GmbH. By then, 60 high-bay warehouses and 630 stacker cranes had already been built. In 1997, Man GGH Logistics became Man Logistics GmbH, which developed into one of the leading suppliers of conveyor and material flow technology components, systems and complete solutions.
The name MLog Logistics was created in 2005 as a result of a management buy-out. The headquarters of MLog became Neuenstadt am Kocher in 2009.
The takeover of MLog Logistics by the Kardex Group in 2010 opened up completely new perspectives for the intralogistics pioneer. Under the umbrella of the globally operating parent company, new markets could be opened up and further investments made in the home territory. Internationalization also made great strides, leading to the establishment of a Polish site in Sopot in 2021. In addition, Kardex Mlog strengthened its position as a supplier of complete systems comprising hardware and software. The “Kardex Control Center” warehouse management system developed in-house was expanded to include new modules and now covers all functional areas from material flow computers to plant visualization.
On the hardware side, too, Kardex Mlog remained true to its reputation as an innovation leader: In 2010, for example, the company presented the Kardex “MDynamic” small parts SRM system. In 2014, the Kardex “MMove” wireless pallet shuttle and the Kardex “MSpacer” load handling device were launched. With the now patented fork for stacker cranes, the second row is also used at full height in double-deep storage. This results in a space gain of over 1,800 mm per aisle in a 20-meter-high warehouse. In 2017, Kardex Mlog built the highest HRL in the company’s history so far in Wronki, with a height of 45.3 m, for the Polish manufacturer of household appliances Amica.
And today – after a 100-year development history – Kardex Mlog can look back on over 1,000 completed projects as a provider of integrated material handling systems and high-bay warehouses.