Valio and Cimcorp have signed an agreement on the automation of order picking processes at Valio’s production facilities in Jyväskylä and Riihimäki, Finland. Cimcorp’s automation systems will manage the material flow of milk products for dispatch from the production to the loading dock. The total value of the order is Euro 16 million. Valio has launched a development program for its production facilities. As a consequence there-of the dairy company has decided to concentrate the distribution of fresh milk products in Finland on three locations (Riihimäki, Jyväskylä and Oulu) as well as to automate the order picking of dispatched goods. Valio has now commissioned Cimcorp with the delivery and the realization of logistic systems in Riihimäki and Jyväskylä for a total of Euro 16 million.
“Order picking in the food industry is a high routine job, performed in uncomfortable working conditions with temperatures of +2 to +4 º C. It becomes more and more difficult to get work force for order picking,” states Reijo Hakala, Development Manager for Material Functions at Valio.“The order picking capacity of over 20 kg weighing plastic crates will be in Jyväskylä about 30.000 and in Riihimäki about 60.000 pieces a day. Thanks to the automation the need to work under these circumstances is minimized and the order picking is rationalized,” Hakala adds.
Valio’s fresh products (milk, buttermilk, cream, yogurt, sour whole milk etc. ) are delivered to customers by using roll-in containers or plastic crates. Cimcorp’s automation systems manage the handling and order picking of all types of products for distribution at Valio. The logistics solutions are based on MultiPick and MultiplePick type gantry robots, which are developed by Cimcorp for managing of wide working areas in order picking. The scope of the provided solutions includes also conveyor systems for roll-in containers and carriages, IT systems for order picking management as well as computer simulations.
“We chose Cimcorp as our co-operation partner, because the company has good and well-functioning references,” Reijo Hakala confirms. “The order picking systems delivered by Cimcorp adapt flexibly to the production changes and enable easy sanitation of the dispatch area. An additional advantage is that also orders smaller than full crates can be picked automatically.”
The automation systems will be implemented by Cimcorp at Valio in Jyväskylä and Riihimäki mainly during the year 2004.
Valio enjoys pole position in Finland´s domestic market as Finland’s largest dairy company. Valio takes in 80 per cent of the country’s entire dairy milk volume. Valio Group net turnover for the year 2002 amounted to EUR 1.6 billion, of which foreign operations (exports and foreign subsidiaries) account for one third. Valio Ltd is owned by 28 co-operative dairies and 15.300 dairy farms produce milk for the company.
Valio is a market leader in Finland in the dairy business and a world leader in the development of functional foods. The main products are milks, buttermilks, creams, yogurts, cheese, ice creams, milk powders, baby foods as well as butter.
Valio group comprises the parent company Valio Ltd and its subsidiaries in Russia, Estonia, Lithuania, Sweden, Belgium and the United States. The Group employs 4.200 people, including 480 who work outside Finland.