Success Story at a Clothing Mail Order Retailer

Changing reels without straining backs

Witt Group

Leading Clothing Mail Order Retailer in Germany

The Witt Group, known under the brand name "Witt Weiden", is a leading German clothing mail order retailer based in Weiden in the Upper Palatinate. The international company specialises in fashion for the growing 50-plus target group, focusing on high-quality women's fashion, underwear and shoes to suit any taste. The company was founded in 1907 so it has a long tradition. It currently employs around 2,900 people at its Weiden site and in its specialist shops. It has around 15.2 million customers throughout Europe. In 2017, the magazine Focus recognised the Witt Group again as the top employer in the "clothing, shoes, sports equipment" category.

The Challenge

Lifting and Changing 70-kg Reels at a Height of 1.20 Metres

The dispatch department at the Witt Group uses film packers which pack customer orders in ready-to-ship film. Each roll of film required for this task weighs about 70 kg, is 70 cm wide, has a 36 cm diameter, and needs to be lifted to a height of 1.20 m. Changing the reels requires a high level of physical exertion from staff with a risk of straining their backs. Up to six new reels need to be loaded into each film packer in the course of a shift.


The Solution

Electric Reel Lifter with Tilt Function

The Witt Group's dispatch department has always had lifting aids for the reels, initially using reel manipulators from another manufacturer. However, these only partially aided the physical effort required to load the film reels. The reels could be transported to the workplace and lifted but still needed to be manually moved from the vertical to the horizontal to load the film packers. This was an unwieldy and strenuous job at a height of 1.20 m. Martin Meinerz, the dispatch group leader, was therefore looking for a way to make this daily task easier, and Hovmand's INOX 200 H3 was the solution. "The decisive argument for me was clearly the fully motorised support provided by the mobile lifters. The Hovmand roll manipulators are available in both manual and electronic versions. This means we can use the INOX 200 lifters to correctly position and lift the reels while also turning them horizontally with the simple push of a button. This saves time and is also easier and safer for me and my colleagues", says Meinerz about his experience with Hovmand lifters. "The robust construction also impressed me, and the INOX lifts are more manoeuvrable than our previous lifters".


"With Hovmand's mobile lifters, we can move, lift and rotate the film reels for our film packers in a single operation, saving time and reducing back strain. And it's safer. So everybody wins!"

– Martin Meinerz, Dispatch Group Leader



Saves Time and Reduces Physical Effort

Thanks to Hovmand's electric reel manipulators, Martin Meinerz and his colleagues have improved ergonomics at the workplace. The physical effort involved in the task and thus the risk of injuries and strains has been reduced to a minimum. There is less strain on back muscles and a simple push of a button on the INOX 200 replaces the awkward manual turning of the reels. Purchasing the Hovmand lifters has also been a worthwhile investment from an economic perspective. The lifters are similarly priced to the lifters they used previously yet they are more flexible and perform better. And the Witt Group also benefits from increased safety at the workplace.