Automation Project for German Food Retailer

Dematic has recently completed commissioning of an automation project featuring innovative warehouse technology for Bünting SCM/Logistik GmbH & Co. KG at its new logistics centre in Nortmoor, in the German state of Lower Saxony.

“We realised we needed to provide a growing selection of items in discount superstores and we were looking for an efficient solution to improve our processes. We went with the Dematic Multishuttle® system because of its compact design, high storage density and advanced technology,” explains Markus Bloem, project and process coordinator at Bünting SCM/Logistik GmbH. The company supplies around 200 of its own locations as well as around 200 independent food retailers. The new warehouse in Nortmoor also manages orders from e-commerce customers via online supermarket portals.

The centrepiece of the automation solution is the Dematic Multishuttle® utilising three aisles on 35 levels with up to 75,000 bin storage spaces and featuring telescopic load-handling devices with an innovative 8-finger design. The solution offers maximum flexibility for stored goods and can efficiently handle multiple transport units without requiring fixed storage locations.

For slow-moving items, or “C” articles, the Dematic Multishuttle® independently manages the buffering, storage and sequencing of the totes and trays. Its compact design makes optimum use of the available space to provide high storage density.

According to Bloem, the Dematic solution offers three key benefits. “Intelligent packing pattern software calculates the most efficient arrangement and positioning of packages on an order-by-order basis, ensuring a cost-effective utilisation of transport resources. As a result, fewer packages are generated, leading to lower CO2 emissions during transport.”

“Next, the addition of a contents list with all the essential goods information also ensures a particularly efficient packing process,” Bloem says. “Last but not least, the camera and weighing functions monitor the entire process, minimising the risk of order mix-up or missing items in the merchandise arrangement,” concludes the project coordinator for Bünting.

The 105 shuttles automatically store, buffer, sequence and transport items to one of the eight picking stations before a Dematic modular conveyor system (MCS) moves them on to the goods issue area. The MCS also links the individual logistics areas within the multi-story building to support Bünting with more efficient processes and higher picking performance.

The entire Dematic automation project is designed to accommodate expanding the facility on a modular basis. “We are currently very satisfied with the degree of capacity utilisation and the optimisation of our processes,” says Bloem. With the changeover to the automatic transport system, Bünting has not only increased its material flow, but it has also raised its throughput rate, while reducing the amount of handling required.

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