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Every day, in the newly opened CIECH storage center, approximately 1.5 to 2 thousand tonnes of goods are loaded and unloaded. This is quite a large amount of work. It would be very difficult without automation.

The modern high storage and transport system is the basis of the recently opened logistics facility in Janikowo that handles salt products. Currently, it allows storage of about 13 thousand tonnes of goods, ultimately the number can be increased up to 20 thousand tonnes.

The host of the facility is CIECH, the only producer of heavy and light soda ash in Poland and the second one in Europe. The company also produces evaporated dry and wet salt. The company’s portfolio also includes other raw materials and chemical products: baking soda, calcium chloride, hopcalite, salt mixtures, pickling salt and salt tablets.

Dense storage has improved logistics

To improve logistics, the company opted for so-called dense storage on twelve levels. For handling shelves with approx. 13,000 pallet holding positions, satellite automated vehicles are used. Computer-controlled vehicles interact with the conveyor system.

The conveyors are also virtually maintenance-free. To improve the work and eliminate the risk of mistakes, the conveyors were equipped with special readers. They automatically recognize pallets and can control their flow in a programmed way. To make it possible, each palette has a unique identifier that allows it to be located at a given time easily and accurately.

The FIFO (first in – first out) rule is applied in the magazine. The WMS (Warehouse Management System) helps in the optimal location of individual loads. It is also greatly responsible for the optimal preparation of cargo for shipment. Proper work organization, using tools that automate the work of the warehouse makes it possible to load a typical three-axle semi-trailer within 20-30 minutes.

Loading becomes twice as fast

Every day, more than one hundred trucks loaded trucks, served in six docks/loading bays can leave the warehouse.

In this way, salt products from Janikowo set out on the way to hundreds of commercial outlets located in Poland, but also in Western Europe, Central Europe and the Scandinavian countries.

The new warehouse means three times more storage options for finished products, twice as fast loading time and the possibility of expansion and further automation in the future. The object and the way of work organization will clearly improve the cost-effectiveness, ensure product safety and reduce the time of performing internal storage operations. In addition, the time of loading of finished vehicles will be significantly shortened, which in effect will enable efficient delivery to the recipient – says Hubert Frasunkiewicz, director of the supply chain management division in the CIECH Group.

The logistics facility in Janikowo operates right next to the local saltworks, where more than 1.5 thousand tons of salt are produced daily in a 24/7 system. The company has over a thousand employees and cooperates with nearly 250 local companies. It also looks different than two or three decades ago.

The saltworks in Janikowo have changed dramatically in the last three years: its production capacity increased by 70 percent, a new salt products confectionery was created, there are new production lines – including salt tablets for water treatment and a new high storage warehouse. In recent years, we have invested a total of over 25 million euro in the production of salt in Janikowo – says Damian Kowenicki, head of salt business of the CIECH Group.

Photo: CIECH SA

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