SSI Schaefer, system supplier of intra-logistics, has started an initiative for modern cold store logistics. An expert in offering automated storage solutions to the logistics industry, SSI Schaefer is now concentrating on the development of a new business support unit focused solely on the cold store industry. This business support unit will provide each cold store operation (which could include the installation of a brand new facility or the development of an existing warehouse) with one source of expert contact during the various development and implementation stages that has access to a wide variety of automated solutions for the deep-freeze industry, including construction and IT.
In Europe, the cold store sector has boomed with over 20% of the entire industry concentrated within the frozen food industry. For example, the total volume of German cold logistics companies and cold stores now contains around ten million cubic metres of storage area with more than 2.5 million pallet positions. In the last four years alone, each industrial cold store’s capacity in Germany has increased by more than 200,000 pallet positions.
However, these impressive figures fail to hide the growing fact that the ‘deep-freeze’ industry falls behind other market leaders when it comes to warehouse systems and logistics. While capacities increase, the average degree of utilisation in most warehouses continues to remain at 75%.
Bob Jane, Business Development Manager, SSI Schaefer, said: “Many companies within the cold store industry are not aware of the space optimisation and productivity gains that can be achieved by using modern design systems. Using the latest systems from SSI Schaefer and a little know-how, the cold store sector can easily increase throughput and warehouse volume efficiently and effectively.”
The specialist business unit for cold stores will ensure that each warehouse and conveyor system specialist is able to deal with all areas of automated warehouse management and stock turnover on any individual project. Business activities will range from the planning of an automated warehouse, selecting the most appropriate order-picking systems to install, implementation and installation phases of all turnkey systems.
“Modern warehouse systems and optimised process sequences can significantly extend existing warehouse capacities and improve security and health protection for all cold store employees,” continued Bob.
SSI Schaefer has implemented trend-setting systems worldwide for years and the necessary new business unit competence system is based on experience and lessons learned over a long period of time whilst project managing various warehouse installations. With such an in-depth insight into the industry, SSI Schaefer can easily adjust systems and components to suit the specific requirements of the cold store sector.
The corresponding range of products and services available is as versatile as the number of different products handled in a cold store system, which is why SSI Schaefer offers a fine balance between manual handling and automation. Simple warehouse systems, satellite storage systems or double-deep high-bay warehouses are all available providing excellent automatic handling.
Solutions for efficient integrated deep-freeze logistics are continually being generated by SSI Schaefer in order to improve energy and space utilisation, efficient order-picking strategies and increased productivity. A double-deep solution concept can offer a 98% fill rate, a necessary optimum for today’s warehouse volumes, which when combined with the increasing variety of Schaefer products available, will result in maximum system performance and flexibility of order-picking and packing processes.
Referring to the modern warehouse environment, including safety and efficiency aspects, conventional systems are barely suitable to effectively deliver in today’s cold store industry. 12 metre high racking with single-deep pallet positions offer flexibility of warehouse processes but no optimised space and energy utilisation – even mobile racking systems provide more warehouse consolidation and energy efficiency. Partial automation, such as driverless, laser-controlled order-picking forklifts, reduces not only error rates and personnel costs but also increases the safety in a deep-freeze warehouse.
Parallel to that is the development of material flow and delivery requirements: smaller and smaller batch sizes, increasing item quantities and the pressure to pick faster and more exact. Restricted pick times in conventional warehouses and the market sector trend for high stock turnover support fully automated logistic concepts.
“Fast-beats-slow is the formula of the consolidation process. Survival within the cold stores competitive market is dependent on the ability to modernise and extend existing storage systems. Low storage costs on the one hand, flexibility, reliability, speed and traceability on the other hand – this is the area of conflict in today’s market requirements. The SSI Schaefer Business Unit Cold Store can show modern optimisation approaches to every user from the deep-freeze sector and together with the customer, develop an individual and optimum solution,” summarised Bob.