Lately, automation has enjoyed an enormous success in the logistics of confectionery and bakery industry. The demands of customers are growing, and the specific nature of the products from this sector requires applying more and more rigorous rules of storage. Automation makes it easier.
The new logistics center of Nicopan, a producer and distributor of bread and confectionery, will be based on the semi-automated Pallet Shuttle system and the warehouse software Easy WMS. It is possible to control both solutions with a single interface.
Nicopan logistics center, located in Granada, Spain, consists of five premises of different use: two halls for storage of raw materials, two for storage or ready products from the factory and one for storage of boxes and packages.
Pallet Shuttle increases efficiency
All the parts will be equipped with blocks of racks with the semi-automated Pallet Shuttle system. This is an example of accumulation storage, where the pallets on the racks are moved by Pallet Shuttles rather than by forklift trucks.
The dimensions of the installation have been adapted to the size of individual halls (depth of storage from 5 to 13 pallets).
The operator gives instructions to the transporter with a tablet connected to Wi-Fi network. The vehicle places the item in the first free place, maximizing the density of pallets. As there is no need to let forklift trucks to the aisles, the warehouse offers increased depth and, hence, increased capacity. Pallet Shuttle facilitates the operation of the warehouse and minimizes the risk of damage of racks and goods stored. This is a solution for warehouses with a big number of pallets per storage unit, where loading and unloading operations are carried out very often.
The system designers list the following main benefits:
– increased diversity (in every channel a different type of product can be stored);
– increased efficiency and capacity (improved flow of incoming and outgoing goods, depth of storage up to 40 m);
– decreased overall labour costs;
– decreased number of collisions and decreased maintenance costs.
The WMS software all the time leads the operators, showing them the following actions to be performed. Besides, it allows to modify the arrangement of the warehouse, check the condition of Pallet Shuttle vehicles, select the storage method (FIFO or LIFO) and manage the access of users.
Portugal goes in Spain’s footsteps
The automated system with stacker cranes will soon be implemented in the warehouse of Pastelaria e Confeitaria Rolo (producer of pastries, biscuits and croissants). The facility in the Portuguese town of Gaeiras will have room for 1780 pallets.
Each of its two aisles with racks placed on both sides will be equipped with a stacker crane delivering the pallets to the entrance of the channels. Then, the transporter working inside the channels will transport each pallet to the furthest possible location from the aisle entrance. One end of the facility will be equipped with a conveyor with a control station. It will be used to check dimensions and condition of the pallets incoming to the warehouse. The opposite end will be equipped with a picking station, where up to three orders will be prepared at the same time.
Also, in this case, the storage system will be accompanied by the warehouse management system Easy WMS and the control module Galileo. The WMS will select places for the storage of individual items and manage the process of order preparation. The Galileo module will be responsible for the movement of all the automated devices working in the warehouse: stacker cranes, conveyors and transporters.
Automated stacker cranes in warehouse of sweets
Similar solutions are being implemented also by Desobry, a producer of biscuits and chocolates (its products are distributed to forty countries). The automated warehouse in the Belgian town of Orcq will be used for storage of ready goods and will have the capacity of 2520 pallets.
The 17-metre-high warehouse will comprise three aisles. Also, in this case, each aisle will be equipped with a stacker crane transporting loads to and from the aisles. The stacker cranes conduct automated storage of items. The loading and unloading operations are carried out during one cycle of the machine’s work, which should improve efficiency of the installation, simplifying the whole system at the same time.
As the new needs appear, the parameters of the stacker cranes, such as their payload, dimensions, height and cycle times, may be adapted.
The stacker cranes bring the following benefits:
– automation of the entry and exit operations of the product;
– permanent control and updates of the warehouse’s condition;
– elimination of errors resulting from manual management;
– possibility of adaptation to different working conditions, e.g. work in minus temperatures (cold stores and freezers) or with high humidity.
The receipt and delivery of goods will be carried out automatically on one end of the warehouse, which will be equipped with a system of roll and chain conveyors, eliminating the risk of errors and accidents. Also, the WMS software developed by Mecalux will be implemented in the facility together with the Galileo control module for electromechanical devices.