The Rhein-Ruhr business of the German supermarket group is installing a robotic order picking system in its new distribution centre
Ulvila, Finland – Edeka Rhein-Ruhr is equipping its new distribution center, located in Oberhausen-Waldteich, with modern food storage logistics from Cimcorp. Being part of Germany’s largest supermarket chain, Edeka’s regional Rhein-Ruhr business is investing in the largest construction project in the company’s history.
The ultra-modern logistics center, with a total floor area of 90,000 square meters, will go into operation in 2021. With its new distribution center, Edeka is creating around 1,000 jobs in the region.
Since millions of people rely on the safety of their food, everything from the field to the table has to be perfect.
Peter Bayer, project manager for logistics and organization at the Edeka Oberhausen
The Edeka distribution center in Oberhausen-Waldteich will supply 400 Edeka branches and 400 stores operating under other group brands in North Rhine-Westphalia when fully operational. In the future it will offer space for around 16,000 different dry, frozen and fresh product lines, most of which require different temperature zones. The food warehouse logistics solution from Cimcorp ensures reliable order picking for fresh products such as fruit, vegetables and dairy products.
400 trucks a day
The new Oberhausen distribution center, which is the size of almost 13 soccer pitches, will be served by over 400 trucks every working day. Around 800 branches in North Rhine-Westphalia supply the DC’s catchment of 14 million people. Order management has to be error-free and punctual, because every mistake leads to delays that add up.
“For us efficiency, costs and ergonomics were decisive when we decided on Cimcorp as an experienced automation provider for our fruit and vegetable distribution,” explains Peter Bayer, project manager for logistics and organization at the Edeka Oberhausen.
“Since millions of people rely on the safety of their food, everything from the field to the table has to be perfect. We expect an extremely high availability of fresh products from Cimcorp, as these are extremely time-critical and sensitive.”
Kai Tuomisaari, Cimcorp’s Vice President, Sales adds, “When dealing with food, and especially with perishable products, accuracy and reliability are essential. The simplest rules of first-in-first-out methods add up in securing consumer safety. Automation also secures employee safety, because robots do all the heavy lifting and repetitive tasks that often lead to debilitating injuries.”
Perfect climate for reliable food handling
The new Oberhausen-Waldteich logistics facility has different temperature zones for fresh, frozen and dry foods. Cimcorp’s fresh food solution has two climate zones: +7°C for cheese and +12°C for fruit and vegetables.
“The order includes several independent automation modules controlled by Cimcorp software, which integrates various technologies into a seamless system,” says Tuomisaari. “If one module is out of service for a while – for example, when cleaning is performed – the other modules run independently to ensure a reliable material flow.”
If one module is out of service for a while – for example, when cleaning is performed – the other modules run independently to ensure a reliable material flow, tells Kai Tuomisaari, Cimcorp’s Vice President, Sales
Overhead gantry robots handle food crates that are stacked on the floor – no need for an expensive shelving system. This is also essential for food safety. “Even with the most modern and safest handling of fresh food, you cannot avoid some perishable parts like stems, leaves or individual grapes from leaking out of the crates,” explains Tuomisaari.
“With Cimcorp’s solution, all of this is noticed on the floor and is easy to see – therefore easy to clean. During cleaning, crates can be moved to another module or stacked under the gantry robot to clear the floor.”
About Edeka Rhein-Ruhr
EDEKA-Handelsgesellschaft Rhein-Ruhr, is one of seven regional companies of the Edeka Group, which was founded in 1898. Edeka is Germany’s largest supermarket corporation with around 11,500 stores and 336,100 employees. EDEKA Rhein-Ruhr supplies around 1,000 stores daily.
Cimcorp Group – part of Murata Machinery, Ltd. (Muratec) – is a leading global supplier of turnkey automation for intralogistics, using advanced robotics, material handling and software technologies. As well as being a manufacturer and integrator of pioneering material handling systems for the tire industry, Cimcorp has developed unique robotic solutions for order fulfillment and storage for the food & beverage, retail, e-commerce, fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) and postal services sectors. Together with its parent company, Cimcorp boasts a worldwide network of service locations. Designed to reduce operating costs, ensure traceability and improve efficiency, these systems are used within manufacturing and distribution centers in over 40 countries across six continents.
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