Home' MHD Supply Chain Solutions : MHD Nov-Dec 2014 Contents order-fulfilment area. On a footprint of 1,085
square metres, the storage part of the facility
houses an automated carton warehouse with
77,500 storage locations. It includes nine aisles
of racking on two levels with 18 stacker cranes,
capable of an average of 170 infeeds and
outfeeds per hour.
This connects with a 2,192 square metre
picking and shipping area, both of which are
maintained at identical temperatures. With
eight ergonomic, sequenced packing stations,
the system achieves an output of over 3,000
'picked' cartons per hour.
The warehouse management software was
also provided by Swisslog and controls all
processes in the logistics centre. The new
distribution centre is able to handle up to 730
vehicles per day over two shifts, delivering to
over 1,000 clients at exceptional service levels.
"The intelligent logistics solution of the future at
minus 24°C" is how apetito describes its facility.
"This advanced logistics solution will
strengthen apetito for the medium term and
position us for further growth," said Ulrich
Fenger, head of logistics for apetito.
Where's the cheese?
Mifroma is a subsidiary of Migros, Switzerland's
largest retailer, and is responsible for their entire
cheese range. After repeatedly having to extend
its production capacities and internal logistics,
Chilled and frozen foods have never
been more popular, thanks to their
convenience and our increasingly
busy lives. Faced with longer working hours,
time-poor consumers are turning to these
quick-to-prepare alternatives. With billions
of dollars worth of household food going to
waste each year, they are also convenient as
a means of reducing waste. As demand for
these products grows, so does the challenge
to manufacturers, distributors and retailers
to stay competitive, all the while combating
the traditional challenges of managing a
As one would expect, energy costs are high
in running a refrigerated warehouse, but so
too is the cost of labour. Staff recruitment,
safety and retention are all a concern due to
the challenging working conditions. Within a
deep-freeze environment these challenges
are magnified. There is additional pressure
on equipment and systems to withstand the
extreme temperatures, and a higher incidence
of product damage and fulfilment errors.
In addressing these challenges and opportu-
nities, temperature-controlled warehouses have
been turning to automation to provide greater
cost efficiency and safety, while improving lead
time, accuracy and product quality.
An automated system using high-density
storage is able to optimise cubic space by
stacking vertically or multiple-deep. Cube
utilisation improvements of 40% along with
footprint savings of approximately 30% can be
achieved. This decreased footprint results in
lower energy costs, as a significant proportion of
cold loss occurs through the roof. High-density
storage is also a smart option for facilities that
would otherwise need to expand, or relocate, to
meet increased demand.
Automated receiving and storage systems
can allow inventory to be moved quickly and
precisely, whilst automated picking eliminates
the need for workers to operate in difficult
conditions, and improves speed and accuracy.
Together with the right software, these
technologies provide improved tracking and
identification of products, and improved
inventory and order fulfilment accuracy.
German company apetito was founded
in 1958, and the family-owned company
is a leader in providing frozen ready-made
meals for the European market. In 2013, it
commissioned Swisslog to implement a state-
of-the-art logistics and distribution centre
at its headquarters in Rheine, to address
the limitations of a 35-year-old deep-freeze
warehouse and order picking system.
The centrepiece of the development is an
automated carton warehouse with a connected
WAREHOUSING COMES IN
FROM THE COLD
REFRIGERATED WAREHOUSING HAS BEEN ONE OF THE
FASTEST GROWING SEGMENTS OF THE TRANSPORT
AND LOGISTICS SEGMENT OVER RECENT YEARS.
THESE WAREHOUSES, HOWEVER, PRESENT UNIQUE
CHALLENGES TO OPERATORS, FROM PERSONNEL
SAFETY AND ENERGY EFFICIENCY PERSPECTIVES.
AUTOMATION MAY WELL BE THE PERFECT SOLUTION.
MHD SUPPLY CHAIN SOLUTIONS --- NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2014
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