Part of Edeka Group, the largest German supermarket chain, Edeka Freienbrink is on a mission to distribute fresh food to its stores around Berlin and Brandenburg quickly and efficiently. In order to deliver fresh produce to stores within 4-5 hours of order receipt, Edeka is relying on the automation expertise of Cimcorp Group. In fact, Edeka Freienbrink is one of five Edeka distribution centres that Cimcorp has been modernising with intralogistics automation.
Fresh and fast
Getting fresh food delivered as quickly as possible from field to store is of paramount importance for ensuring quality and safety. “The system has to run,” explains Rene Klaus, Operations Manager at Edeka Minden-Hannover. “We are very time-bound and any delay in the process could mean that we could not supply our customers with the quantity that they would like to have, and that cannot happen.”
With Cimcorp’s automation expertise, Edeka is enjoying fast and efficient deliveries of fresh produce without picking errors or delays. “From Freienbrink’s DC, we serve a total of 488 stores, 416 of which have their fruit and vegetables handled by the Cimcorp solution,” said Klaus.
The automated solution comprises three fresh food modules equipped with Cimcorp’s overhead gantry robots. The modularity guarantees maximum functionality through redundancy. The robots handle food crates that are stacked on the floor. This means there’s no need for expensive racking. It also means that crates can be moved to another module to clear the floor for cleaning, ensuring a high standard of hygiene.
The Cimcorp system takes care of heavy lifting and physical work, allowing Edeka to rely on fewer people. With labour availability often an issue in warehousing today, this makes the DC easier to manage. By taking over monotonous, repetitive and physically demanding tasks, automation can reduce the risk of injuries caused by manual labour. “We have a vast quantity and range of products that we need to handle as fast as possible,” added Klaus. “The Cimcorp system is extremely helpful in moving, distributing and locating them. Automation is definitely the future.”
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