Edna International GmbH and Witron build an innovative logistics centre for frozen products

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Edna International GmbH, headquartered in Zusmarshausen, produces and distributes frozen bakery products, as wells as food and non-food articles for all branches of the HoReCa (hotel, gastronomy, catering) and bake-off sector. With more than 7,000 different articles including lye pastries, French bread, bread, rolls, and snacks like sweet Danish pastries, fluffy pastries, cakes, pies, as well as regional and international specialties, the enterprise optimally covers all the needs of its 30,000 customers throughout Europe. A well-organised logistics process allows Edna to flexibly react on its customers' demands, with 24 hour delivery within Germany, seven days per week. The family-owned enterprise was founded in 1951 and employs 600 people.  Edna's revenue amounts to 110 million Euros.

In order to further optimise the high service level of its customers, Edna awarded Witron Logistik + Informatik GmbH the order to design and realize the new 7,000 m2 logistics centre in Brehna. The logistics centre will be directly connected to Edna's state-of-the-art production facility.

Starting in May 2012, Witron's OPM system will pick 13,000 cases per day using three COM machines. The OPM system will operate in a -24 C environment, automatically building 200 order pallets per day without errors and without the use of humans. The picking areas will be supplied by an automatic three-aisle tray warehouse with 35,300 storage locations, as well as a mechanized four-aisle pallet high bay warehouse with 9,600 pallet locations. Moreover, the system will have a daily output of 800 additional single-SKU pallets which will be buffered in the high bay warehouse after leaving production.

Witron will also mechanize the packaging of bakery products, a process which has always been handled manually in the past. Based on the new efficient processes, Edna will now be able to distribute a much smaller product volume to its customers than has been the case so far. The system will be capable of transporting up to six single-item grid boxes at the same time from the frozen high bay warehouse via automatic conveyors to ergonomic workstations. A cardboard erecting machine will provide the packer with appropriately sized shipping cartons based on product dimensions. After completing the customer order, the cartons will be returned to the tray AS/RS via conveyors before carrying out the route-optimized shipping. Finally, shipping labels will be automatically applied to the outbound cartons within the -24C environment.

Based on the expected positive business development of the manufacturer of bakery products, Witron's design already provides future expansion space for additional COMs and tray cranes.  After full build-out, the system would be capable of shipping up to 32,000 picked cases and 2,000 single-SKU full pallets on a peak day using their own truck pool.

As general contractor Witron will be responsible for the design, delivery, realisation, and start-up of all IT, control, material flow, mechanics, and steel components.

Compared to conventional warehouse solutions, Witron's OPM (Order Picking Machinery) has become an established solution for frozen and temperature-controlled warehouses thanks to its high efficiency and proven results. In addition to energy savings based on a significant reduction in building footprint, energy savings and a clear CO2 reduction in the building and during transportation are also generated from using up to 20% more densely packed order pallets and energy-efficient mechanics throughout the design. Thanks to the fully-automated picking process employees will be relieved from un-ergonomic work processes in exceptional temperature zones.

Besides many successfully realised OPM projects in ambient and cooled environments, WITRON has a strong track record in frozen environments. In fact, Edna is already the eighth OPM installation to be realised in a freezer. The number of frozen goods picked per day by Witron OPM systems ranges from 13,000 to more than 50,000 cases, and the number of SKUs per system ranges from 300 to almost 4,000.


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