Miniload with maximum performance

The Sao Bernardo do Campo plant is getting ready for the future: From 2020, an innovative miniload system will synchronize the rhythm of storage and production.

Mercedes-Benz do Brasil, a Brazilian subsidiary of Daimler AG, is investing heavily in commercial vehicle business. Sao Bernardo do Campo plant is to create an extended portfolio, using state of the art production standards. The core strategy is the miniload logistics concept. The purchasing department, internal partners and specialist suppliers are organizing the project.

“In order to produce commercial vehicles more flexibly and efficiently, we are completely restructuring the plant.“ Robert Wolfrum of Daimler International Procurement Services knows what he is talking about. As a local purchasing manager, he is heading the miniload system implementation, along with his team and internal partners. The new, fully automated small-parts warehouse is a part of the state of the art plant logistics. A comprehensive commercial vehicle portfolio is already being produced on location: Light to extra heavy trucks, chassis for city and intercity buses and minibuses, articulated buses, assemblies such as engines, transmissions, axles and vehicle assemblies. It is a unique production scope in the international production network. “Our internal flow of materials is complex and the intralogistics requirements are very high“, Robert Wolfrum explains the framework of the miniload project.

Collectively: Many becomes 1

The unloading areas and warehouses are decentralized with several internal warehouses and one external. A central logistics concept therefore is a must! “This results in more efficiency, agility, and flexibility to attend the commercial vehicle segment”, says Robert Wolfrum. “The punctual and economical delivery of small parts such as bolts, nuts and clamps also plays an important role.” The future here is: A fully automated small-parts warehouse. A concept that the purchasing manager, internal business partners and the logistics specialist SSI Schäfer are jointly launching.

2015 to 2020

In order to have a production more efficiently, the plant modernization is already running at full speed. In 2015, the starting shot was fired for the integration of parts logistics, including a fully automated small-parts warehouse within this system. The team working with the purchasing manager Robert Wolfrum is the contact person for all parties involved: “A concept, performance specification, supplier selection or construction work – we work as a team.” Since 2017, the logistics partner SSI Schäfer has also been the driving force behind the success of the project: From concept optimization to the construction of  warehouse with storage and retrieval systems and conveyor belts to start-up of miniload system in January 2020.

Number 1

Robert Wolfrum and the internal partners were informed in advance about possible solutions by companies in the food and cosmetics industry. There is still no miniload system alike in operation in the Brazilian automotive industry. “Our concept represents the first milestone,” he explains. In order to identify the technically and economically optimal logistics partner, there were eight stages of negotiations, including on-site visits, concept and offer comparisons and final negotiations. With the aim of developing the best system for Brazil and with Daimler know-how and decades of logistics experience, SSI Schäfer took first place in the supplier set.

Our miniload system shows that process optimization creates greater efficiency and thus contributes to the future viability of Daimler AG. Mercedes-Benz do Brasil is constantly on the lookout for new concepts and innovative suppliers who actively develop and implement them in close cooperation with us.

Robert Wolfrum, Daimler International Procurement Services , Sao Bernardo do Campo, Brasilien

By working in a team with purchasing and internal partners, we have developed an innovative miniload concept that fits perfectly and will be at the heart of the modernized plant. We support Mercedes-Benz do Brasil with our solution to produce even more efficiently and to meet customer demands with increased flexibility.

Fabio Nascimento dos Santos, Vice President SSI Schäfer

100 percent

How will the new small-parts warehouse improve performance? “It identifies and retrieves small parts using a sophisticated system with stacker cranes and conveyor belts. Completely automated!“, says Robert Wolfrum. The specially tailored logistics software from SSI Schäfer manages and controls the complex processes. Thousands of small parts boxes can be delivered daily to the production lines in different buildings, without waiting times and truck jams. “In future, the entire flow of small parts will run at maximum performance via Miniload logistics center” says Wolfrum. And adds: “In addition, warehouse staff are provided with an optimal ergonomic working environment.”

The 3 for 1 goal

Mercedes-Benz do Brasil is thus setting new standards automotive intralogistics. And for SSI Schäfer, the miniload project is a star figurehead. The intensive teamwork of purchasing, internal partners and suppliers is the decisive success factor, as Robert Wolfrum emphasizes: “From the outset, all participants have been fully committed to our common goal of achieving the best miniload system and thus greater efficiency and flexibility for Sao Bernardo do Campo.“


The decision to have a miniload as an automated storage for small boxes brings benefits from logistics point of view. For example, we benefit from lower running costs, optimized utilization of space, shorter access and high performance in picking time. This is truly a huge process revolution for us.

Rodrigo Valverde, Logistics Manager at Mercedes-Benz do Brasil


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Mar 29, 2019
Birgit Hennefarth