In Zams, Austria, a new logistics center of the Landeck-based traditional company Kofler will be built. Kofler is one of the leading suppliers of fresh food for hotels and restaurants in Tirol. The wide product range of Gebrüder Kofler GmbH comprises more than 1,500 fresh, frozen and dry food products, from regional specialties of the Inn Valley to exotic products. Kofler, a family-run company in the third generation, has been active as a wholesale supplier for 75 years. They use their own fleet of 20 cold and deep-freeze vehicles.
The existing manual deep-freeze warehouse featuring a capacity of 1,800 pallets has reached its limits with the planned future growth. As deep-freeze storage space is expensive, the aim was to maximize the number of products stored compactly on the smallest possible area. Minimizing the storage area while maximizing space utilization and a significant increase of the over-all efficiency were the main goals of the warehouse automation.
The core of the 4-storey building with 31 truck loading gates is the automated, 20 meter high, 2-aisle deep-freeze tray warehouse with 24,000 storage locations for temperatures down to between -18°C and -24°C. The order picking area as well as pick-by-voice-operated cold and dry storage areas are also integrated. The deep-freeze warehouse offers storage space for more than 24,000 tray storage locations with different carton height classes in order to optimize storage density. Due to various packaging designs in the frozen food product range, a tray is used as loading aid. The order picking area is thermally separated from the actual deep-freeze area and positioned in an area with controllable ambient temperature. The loss of cooling and the introduction of heat into the deep-freeze warehouse are kept at a minimum to increase energy efficiency. Deep-freeze warehouses require a special technology. Mechanics, electrics and control components have to be designed for icy temperatures. Oil for gears suitable for cold temperature operation, heated sensors, cold-resistant sealing and plastics and deep-freeze-suitable industrial PCs are requirements to ensure lifetime durability of the system.
The Advantages for the Customer
The storage area is minimized while maximizing space utilization and the over-all efficiency and speed are significantly increased owing to the warehouse automation and the digitalization of the processes. The warehouse is inerted and operated with a reduced oxygen content in order to minimize the risk of fire.
Multilevel shuttle warehouse with 3 KlinCAT® shuttles for fresh goods with 4,608 tray storage locations
Automated, 2-aisle small-parts warehouse for dry goods with 9,728 tray storage locations
Automated, 4-aisle deep-freeze warehouse down to -22°C with 19,680 tray storage locations
Klinkhammer-warehouse management software and material flow computer with interfaces to the ERP-system
Storage according to the order and position sequence taking batches and best-before-dates into consideration
With its wide range of fresh and frozen products as well as food, Frischdienst Walther located in Kitzingen is one of the well-known wholesale distributors in Bavaria’s Franconia region. Offering more than 8,500 articles, the company supplies Franconian restaurants and hotels with everything they need as a culinary host. Frischdienst Walther ensures highest reliability of the order process thanks to the automation of its warehouses and the pick-by-voice order picking. By means of the electronic routing and scheduling system and its own vehicle fleet equipped with two-chamber cooling system, delivery deadlines and cold chains are fully complied with.
The orders of customers from restaurants are often placed at very short notice and more than 95% of them are delivered within 24 hours. Given the continually growing need for a variety of deep-freeze products, the aim was to considerably increase the capacity, speed, efficiency and flexibility while at the same time making optimum use of space. Frischdienst Walther therefore decided on an automated dry, cold and deep-freeze warehouse with tray technology.
Three automated warehouses cover three climate zones. The automated deep-freeze warehouse with a temperature of -22°C provides 19,680 tray storage locations. Deep-freeze suitable technical components such as special drives, control cabinet heaters, appropriate photoelectric barriers and sensors as well as temperature-resistant plastics guarantee high system reliability even at temperatures of minus 22°C. The automated fresh goods warehouse, a high-performance shuttle warehouse with a temperature range of +2°C up to +6°C, is equipped with three KlinCAT® multilevel shuttles. It is also used as order consolidation buffer. Pre-picked orders are temporarily stored for shipping to consolidate them with goods from other storage areas at a later time. This significantly accelerates order processing and decouples the processes. The dry goods warehouse, which has no climate control, is used as 2-aisle automated small parts warehouse for B, C and D articles. Due to the diverse packaging designs, trays are used as loading aids in all three storage areas. The connection of the Klinkhammer-warehouse management software including material flow computer to the existing ERP-system guarantees consistent and optimal processes as well as transparency.
The Advantages for the Customer
All warehouse and functional areas are connected in a way that shortest possible distances are ensured and the cooling loss as well as the introduction of heat and humidity are kept at a minimum level. With the comprehensive automation, a significant increase in efficiency in handling the different pack sizes and weights was achieved.
Reference Sheet (Pdf)
Deep-freeze store, at -28°C
Formerly built for the industrial bakery Gramms, Lantmännen Unibake operates a deep-freeze store in Suhl. At -28°C bakery products are stored.
One double-deep aisle with pallet high-bay racking and one aisle with an automatic small parts warehouse for cartons on trays take up the products from production. The goods are entered manually by forming pallets or though fully automated loading of pallets and trays using a palletizing robot.
This robot picks up product cartons from three feeder lanes, which follow the three production lines with packing machines, and then stacks them on pallets and trays according to the packing pattern for the carton type. The trays are pre-labeled, whereas the labels for the storage of pallets are produced automatically. By means of palletizing the goods are married to the load carrier. The production data such as batch, date of production and BBD complete the product information. Retrieval takes place by manually selecting the goods. The goods made available are picked in the warehouse pre-zone at +1°C and prepared for the sequenced loading.
The automatic small parts warehouse is used for picking small quantities for the chain store. Here, mixed pallets or cartons are created which then are shipped or picked up. It is also possible to remove partial stock quantities from pallets; however, shipping the complete pallet is preferred.
The process from the request for goods until shipment in Iso-container refrigerated trains or swap trailers must take place very quickly, as goods must not start to defrost. Thanks to the minimum remaining shelf life of the articles, the respective articles are automatically blocked, if the minimum remaining shelf life is remained under. Production batches and BBD are traced completely from start of production until delivery.