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Plant achieves process flow optimisation at EDEKA

Plant achieves process flow optimisation at EDEKA

A modern and efficient meat-processing facility has been built in Rheinstetten (Baden Württemberg, Germany). The facility, owned by EDEKA Südwest Fleisch GmbH, produces top quality sausage and meat products.
The multiple functions and processes at the high-performance logistics centre, operated by EDEKA's Südwest Fleisch Rheinstetten meat products plant, evoke associations with the German term of "Gesamtkunstwerk" – a total art form.

Appropriately, the word "Kunst" in German is derived from the verb "können", which means to be able or capable of doing something. A closer look at some of the central activities and their functions reveals the completeness of the underlying design and the quality of the high-end intralogistics components that have been used to construct this bespoke centre to the most professional standards.

Quantum leap in productivity
"The new meat processing plant with its integrated logistics centre has resulted in a quantum leap in productivity", says Jürgen Sinn, managing director of EDEKA Südwest Fleisch, Rheinstetten. "As a logistics centre for chilled meat and sausage products that offers a 24-hour delivery service six days a week, we see ourselves as an extension of our retail outlets' food preparation and vending areas".

The strategic goals that were set for the new plant included aspects such as: "The highest degree of standardisation for individually pre-cut meat products, for which our company is renowned, thus providing an optimal service for our sales counters in order to give our sales staff more time for advising customers, and providing an optimum delivery service via our logistics centre."

This process flow-optimised, efficient and flexibly organised plant was put into operation in July 2011. Vanderlande, in its role of general contractor working in close collaboration with EDEKA Südwest, played a crucial part in this project by designing and constructing the logistics centre, which is located between the meat and sausage production area and the shipping department.

Perfectly synchronised
The required product and delivery volumes can only be achieved through a perfectly synchronised combination of employee know-how and highly advanced logistics machinery: from the total range of 3,000 products, up to 70,000 shipping units are generated during the six-day, two-shift working week, which are then loaded into 3,400 wheeled containers, affectionately known as "wheelies", prior to delivery to more than 1300 EDEKA retail outlets via 120 predefined truck routes.

The system includes:
•    Pallet high-bay storage system (3,000 pallet locations)
•    10 depalletising workstations (including two fully automated robot systems).
•    20-aisle QUICKSTORE HDS shuttle system (50,000 locations; 140 HDS shuttles)
•    Conveyor system covering over 3,000m linking a variety of logistics areas
•    Order picking area with over 570 flow racks distributed across 19 workstations
•    Two [email protected] ergonomic order picking workstations (“goods-to-man” principle).
•    Empty tote system
•    Dispatch system consisting of a POSISORTER sliding shoe sorer
•    Semi-automatic workstations to support the loading of roll cages

Thanks to the intelligent and flexible solutions from Vanderlande , EDEKA Südwest’s high standards are guaranteed for the future. Jürgen Sinn, who is clearly enthusiastic about the plant and its performance, is lavish with his praise: "All of those involved have done an excellent job, both the very competent and hard-working project team provided by Vanderlande  and our own people have performed outstandingly: a fantastic example of what you can achieve through good collaboration. We would have no reservations about building another plant with Vanderlande in the future".

The company's managing director goes on to say, "feedback from many of our employees indicates that their tasks are much easier to carry out now in comparison to the previous set-up. Praise indeed, considering that our employees had to abandon old habits and routines as each department and each process step now depends on others in the new plant, where we work within an enormously closely linked and intermeshed process cycle. Everything now runs very smoothly, both in the factory and the logistics centre, which can also be attributed to the excellent work done by our Logistics Manager, Mr Klaus Schmitt, who motivates his team superbly".

"We are very happy to have implemented this degree of centralisation in our new meat processing plant. The new plant has put us at the forefront of our sector, it has resulted in a quantum leap in productivity, customer satisfaction is high and we have already received very positive feedback."

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