INTERSPORT: Drive technology and sport make a good team

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Optimized automation concept for storage/retrieval systems in warehouse logistics

Over the past few years, Heilbronn-based sports retailer INTERSPORT Deutschland eG has worked with Körber Supply Chain to expand its central warehouse. The project involved installing small parts storage/retrieval systems with automation based on the latest developments in drive technology and control technology from SEW-EURODRIVE – MOVIKIT®, MOVIDRIVE® and MOVI-C® CONTROLLER. It was a challenging yet fascinating project not far from SEW-EURODRIVE's head office in Bruchsal, and generated a great deal of positive feedback.

The project at a glance

Hermes Fulfilment logo
  • Customer: INTERSPORT Deutschland eG, Heilbronn, Germany
  • Equipment manufacturer: Körber Supply Chain Automation GmbH, Leingarten, Germany
  • Application: Storage/retrieval system in central warehouse
  • Sector: Sports retail

INTERSPORT Deutschland eG was founded by 15 sports retailers in Heilbronn in 1956. Today, INTERSPORT is the most successful cooperative group in the sports retail sector and specializes in sports equipment and high-quality sporting goods. It has 5562 locations in 56 countries worldwide. Its wide range of goods includes everything you could need for sport or outdoor activities.

High-bay warehouse with storage/retrieval systems at INTERSPORT
The new central warehouse has an area of around 37 000 square meters.
The new central warehouse has an area of around 37 000 square meters.

Extension of the central warehouse:

  • Optimum use of the storage area
  • Alignment of the entire warehouse with new market and sales requirements
  • Updating of the existing logistics, including using automation
  • Uninterrupted operations during the project

Stefan-Marcel Schlepp, Head of Intralogistics, has been with INTERSPORT for 20 years and knew precisely what the priorities should be when building the new facilities. The key was to make full use of the warehousing space available, while also sticking to the schedule and the budget. Jürgen Beier, Head of the Logistics Department at INTERSPORT, also felt it was vital for the existing logistics facilities to be modernized in parallel with the new build project and for delivery operations to INTERSPORT retailers to continue uninterrupted throughout the duration of the project.

Control cabinet containing MOVI-C{{®}} CONTROLLER
The storage/retrieval systems have been automated with the latest technology.
The storage/retrieval systems have been automated with the latest technology.

Warehouse logistics automated using:

  • Preprogrammed MOVIKIT® software modules to reduce startup times by as much as 80 percent
  • MOVIKIT® AntiSway to reduce swinging toward the racks
  • MOVIKIT® StackerCrane effiDRIVE®a software solution to achieve energy savings of up to 25 percent
  • MOVIKIT® MultiAxisController to ensure synchronous operation of all travel drives – two on the ground and one at the mast head
  • Fully integrated MOVISAFE® safety technology
  • MOVIDRIVE® modular frequency inverter
  • Motors and gearmotors from SEW‑EURODRIVE.
INTERSPORT warehouse logistics storage/retrieval system
All the objectives were achieved – some were even exceeded
All the objectives were achieved – some were even exceeded

Revolutionary warehouse logistics:

As the company has expanded over the years, the warehouse has grown by 10 000 square meters. The INTERSPORT warehouse in Heilbronn now has an overall footprint of around 37 000 square meters. A new, two-story building with a height of 36 m was built on the additional logistics area. A high-tech incoming goods area was created on the lower floor, while the upper floor houses a new automated carton warehouse with a rack height of 24 m. This highly automated warehouse enables the company to dispatch up to 10 000 packages per day. It is a revolution for INTERSPORT warehouse logistics!

The renovation project was carefully planned, and the objectives were reviewed regularly and adjusted as required. The results speak for themselves – the objectives were achieved, and some expectations were even exceeded.

The INTERSPORT central warehouse in Heilbronn:

  • Total area across 3 halls and 2 floors: 37 000 m²
  • Total capacity: 245 000 storage positions
  • Route length for materials handling technology: 4 300 m
  • Automated small parts storage systems: 6
  • Shuttle aisles: 2
  • Shuttles: 86
  • Total number of gearmotors from SEW-EURODRIVE: 700

Comments from our customers

Mark Vogt, Director Sales & Marketing at Körber Supply Chain Automation

"The partnership is not just about successfully rolling out projects together, it's also about collaborating on development projects. In many application scenarios, we work in partnership on the further development of drive technology, inverter technology and energy management technology. Körber Supply Chain also sees the excellent, rapid and comprehensive service offered by SEW-EURODRIVE as another strength."

Stefan-Marcel Schlepp, Head of Intralogistics at INTERSPORT

"We are very satisfied with the system. It is incredibly stable. The more than 700 SEW-EURODRIVE gearmotors we use are extremely reliable. I've been working for this company for 20 years, and I've had system technology here in intralogistics for 14 years, including gearmotors from SEW-EURODRIVE. Out of over 700 motors, only 5 have needed replaced in that time. For me, that's the key to stable system operation – reliable technology.

Mark Vogt, Director Sales & Marketing at Körber Supply Chain Automation

"Körber Supply Chain chose SEW-EURODRIVE because the close partnership between the two companies has been carefully nurtured over many years. SEW-EURODRIVE products are ideal for intralogistics requirements and the portfolio is being continuously developed and optimized."

New future prospects for automating warehouse logistics

Four men standing in front of a huge soccer ball at INTERSPORT.
Working together as partners for sport
Working together as partners for sport

Storage/retrieval systems do more than provide an automated way of placing materials and goods onto racks and removing them again – they can also help with processes associated with warehousing. All the requirements defined at the start of the project by INTERSPORT and Körber Supply Chain Automation were met – cost-effective warehousing, low energy consumption, high operational reliability, rapid startup, and reliable automation technology.

The INTERSPORT central warehouse in Heilbronn now really stands out thanks to its automated warehouse logistics systems, with a high level of throughput and the perfectly coordinated logistical processes – from incoming goods, storage and retrieval, and order picking, all the way to shipping. The high availability of the systems has created one of the most cutting-edge logistics centers in the region. This state-of-the-art logistics world was made possible by a clever and brave investment and by all the companies involved working together in partnership.

Shown in the picture from left to right: Johannes Jakobi (SEW-EURODRIVE), Mark Vogt (Körber Supply Chain), Stefan-Marcel Schlepp (INTERSPORT), Steffen Pfaadt (SEW-EURODRIVE)

Comments from our SEW-EURODRIVE staff

Patrick Rentz, Application Engineer in Sales

The picture of a SEW-EURODRIVE employee, Patrick Rentz
Patrick Rentz, Application Engineer in Sales

Patrick Rentz was in constant contact with our partners at Körber, and was therefore aware of all the requirements:

"INTERSPORT was Körber's first MOVI-C® project to involve multiple challenges. Top-drive control was needed to prevent mast sway in the direction of travel, while the BellySway module was needed to suppress undesirable movement toward the racks during storage and retrieval operations. It was important for our departments to collaborate closely on this project, and this worked really well. Our proximity to INTERSPORT, the end customer, was a big advantage, because we could get on site quickly as and when necessary. Thanks to the fully integrated safety options of the MOVI-C® modular system and MOVISUITE® software, it didn't take us long at all to meet the requirements regarding functional safety technology. At Körber, this project kicked off a switchover to the MOVI-C® generation of electronics. Since then, a lot of power supply modules, single-axis modules and double-axis modules and controllers with countless MOVIKIT® licenses have been used."

Carsten Ripp, Sales Engineer

The picture of a SEW-EURODRIVE employee, Carsten Ripp
Carsten Ripp, Sales Engineer

"MOVIKIT® makes it possible for customers to simply set parameters rather than having to program things. Using the intelligent MOVIKIT® software modules cuts startup times by as much as 80 percent – a very positive outcome. In this project, MOVIKIT® AntiSway ensures swinging is kept under control through the BellySway function – thus ensuring a higher throughput rate. MOVIKIT® StackerCrane effiDRIVE® – a purely software-based solution – provides energy savings of up to 25 percent by coordinating the lifting and travel axes of storage/retrieval systems.

Steffen Pfaadt, Responsible for sales of stationary system solutions

The picture of a SEW-EURODRIVE employee, Steffen Pfaadt
Steffen Pfaadt, Responsible for sales of stationary system solutions

"In projects such as this, one of the many important goals is most certainly cutting startup time. Customers want their systems to be up and running quickly and easily. This means reducing the overall complexity on the construction site. We take care of that. MOVI-C® enables us to achieve very short startup times. As a result, our customers can keep a close eye on their costs and project times."

Johannes Jakobi, International Account & Project Coordination

The picture of a SEW-EURODRIVE employee, Johannes Jakobi.
Johannes Jakobi, International Account & Project Coordination

"When automating storage/retrieval systems, we use MOVIKIT® software modules, because designing lightweight constructions in particular poses challenges for control technology. It is particularly notable that, despite the lightweight nature of the design, outstanding cycle times are still achieved, since sway is reduced to a minimum. Our customers benefit from that for the long term, because there is less strain on mechanical system parts, which is beneficial for their service life."

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