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f+h Intralogistics 5/2014

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f+h Intralogistics 5/2014

Warehousing Cold chain

Warehousing Cold chain under control – SSI Schaefer optimized automated deep-freeze logistics SSI Schaefer, Germany has implemented an automated channel storage system in the deep-freeze sector for the food manufacturer Mydibel in Belgium. Controlled by the logistics software Wamas, storage and retrieval machines with Orbiter-Shuttles and an intelligent material flow concept provide high transparency and efficiency. Heavily hooded forklift operators who navigate in -20 °C with their narrowaisle-reach truck through deep-freeze warehouse aisles and pick pallets for order processing. At the food production company Mydibel S. A. this belongs to the past. “Like that, we have done the storage for production and sales up to 15 hours per day at 5 different locations”, explains Dries Seynaeve, head of the new Mydibel distribution center in the Belgian Mouscron. From there, the family-owned company supplies frozen potato products such as potato wedges, French fries, potato flakes and flour to the food sector and industry. The past configuration required around 20 employees. Four trucks commuted between the locations up to 75 km away from each other. It was time and cost-consuming, bound resources and resulted in a large effort to guarantee a continuous cold chain. Against this background Mydibel management decided consolidating storage capacities into one new, modern logistics facility at the production location in Mouscron. With its implementation, the processes should be automated and optimized as much as possible. After an international tender, the intralogistics specialists of SSI Schaefer, Giebelstadt/ Germany received the contract to develop the logistics concept for the automated warehousing which included the detailed engineering and turn-key implementation of a high-bay warehouse along with the conveying system connection to the production and IT control. High handling despite low temperatures The food manufacturer used an automated channel storage system design with shuttle technology for its new deep-freeze warehouse (Image 01). “A picking in the deepfreeze area had to be completed within 30 minutes at -5 °C max.“, explains Horst Kaiser, project manager of SSI Schaefer. “A fully automated logistics concept was designed and also supports the trend in this market for high stock turnover.” 30 f+h Intralogistics 5/2014

Warehousing In food-logistics, the ratio of deep-frozen food is now between 15 to 20 %. But logistically the deep-freeze warehouses lag behind the market development. They can barely keep up with the increasing requirements of the industry and trade in the meantime. “Many companies in the deepfreeze sector are not aware what optimization and rationalization potential can be achieved by modern system designs“, explains Kaiser. “With the right automated process design, they can significantly increase storage capacities, efficiency and throughput as well as reduce fix costs.“ Also at Mydibel. With the automated processes and the logistics concept of SSI Schaefer, the food manufacturer is able to produce the same throughput with less than a third of employees in only 10 hours. Since May 2012, the plant is running in all-out operation. “The entire project including planning and software layout was implemented within 18 months“, underlines Patrick Hennebert, Sales Manager at SSI Schaefer in Belgium. “The plant capacity still has space for future growth.” Shuttles operate precisely and efficiently In the five 93 m long aisles of the high-bay channel storage system the pallets are stored in eleven rack levels. 57 channels per level are accessible on every aisle side by the 5 storage and retrieval machines (SRM) (Image 02). It is stored 11-fold-deep there. The deep-freeze warehouse offers a total of 32,000 storing positions for the 1,200 × 800 mm wide Euro or around 25,600 storing positions for the wider industry pallets (1,000 × 1,200 mm). Except for the two outer channels, the channels can be operated from two aisles by the use of the Schaefer Orbiter System. “Depending on the demand, we can load the channels from two sides with different batches or according to the principle First-In-First-Out, we can store on one channel side and retrieve on the other side,” so Seynaeve. “A docking station with Orbiter-Shuttle as load handling device is installed onto the SRM,” describes Hennebert the system. The Orbiter is slowed down and controlled in the docking station. After accepting the pallets, the SRMs move the pallets to the targeted channel. This operation is indicated by the logistics software Wamas. There, the Orbiter- Shuttles lift the pallets and move them in the rack channel to the storing position defined by the software. At the position allocation, Wamas considers different storage strategies as well as the pallet type. The distance between the stored pallets is determined during the commissioning. Controlled via incremental encoders and light sensor systems, the Orbiter-Shuttle puts the pallets in the rack channel and returns to the docking station on the SRM. This is also done under the extreme conditions of -24 °C without the system availability limitations. During the drive of the SRM to the transfer position, the Orbiter-Shuttles are recharged by the power supply system at the docking stations. The Shuttles are equipped with a condenser technology called Power Cap technology. The power supply is integrated in the SRM so that the mobile machines operate without cables in the channels. With every in- and out-feed cycle the Power Caps of the shuttles in the docking station are charged. The charging process is completed within a few seconds. The SRMs store up to 52 pallets per hours – up to 126 pallets per hour are handled in the retrieval. Both material flows are partially separated and controlled by Wamas. “We either store or retrieve or use both functions simultaneously,” states Seynaeve. The conveying system of SSI Schaefer is designed to that in the Mydibel deep-freeze warehouse through which both material streams are guided. Storing: automatic and secure From goods receiving, the supplied pallets are transferred to the conveying system. An automatic relocating-station then puts system pallets under the goods receiving pallets. The relocation onto system pallets ensures a secure handling of goods pallets in About SSI Schaefer 01 The new deep-freeze warehouse works with an automated channel storage system design with shuttle technology The product range of SSI Schaefer/Fritz Schaefer GmbH, Neunkirchen/Germany – at the same time international headquarters of the SSI Schaefer Group – includes the core area of warehouse equipment as well as workshop, plant and office equipment, plus a variety of waste collection and recycling containers. Typical products are storage and transport containers, shelving, pallet racks, cantilever and mobile racking systems, which form the basis of manually operated or fully automated storage systems. Fritz Schaefer founded the company in 1937, and today SSI Schaefer has offices around the world. SSI Schaefer Noell GmbH, Giebelstadt/Germany, complements the service portfolio as a specialist for comprehensive logistics systems. As a general contractor the company has already implemented more than 300 logistics systems worldwide. The range goes from system planning and consulting to the implementation of turn-key systems and customized after-sales services. The portfolio is completed by innovative IT solutions complying with inhouse standards as well as SAP technology standards. SSI Schaefer Peem GmbH, Graz/Austria, specialises in modular order-picking technology. The company designs, develops and produces highly-dynamic small parts conveyor systems and automatic order-picking systems including customized software. As a general contractor, Salomon Automation GmbH, Friesach near Graz/Austria, provides complete, customised solutions for manual and fully automated warehouse systems. The company supports its customers in every aspect, from the solutionfinding and software implementation process to the training of the warehouse staff. With the logistics software “Wamas”, Salomon Automation contributes to comprehensive visualisation and optimisation of the customers’ warehouse processes. f+h Intralogistics 5/2014 31


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