Food & Beverage – With automatic storage systems efficiency is guaranteed even below freezing

Logistics is a fundamental part of any efficient cold chain. Especially in the food sector, which must comply with the strictest storage standards, ensuring perfect storage conditions is essential. Food & Beverage companies can meet these requirements by adopting automatic storage and handling systems like those designed and manufactured by the Ferretto Group for many leading operators.

The requirements of the Food & Beverage sector
Certain sectors, such as the food industry, need high efficiency even under special conditions, for example in cold rooms. In these cases, a storage system and the relevant picking system must guarantee:

  • space optimization;
  • constant and perfect storage conditions;
  • fast and efficient picking operations;
  • flow tracking and management of expiration dates.

Automation for the cold chain

Today automation is the best response to these needs. In fact, automatic storage and handling systems facilitate work with the utmost efficiency even at low temperatures and, more generally, at controlled temperatures.
Advantages are achieved especially thanks to:

  • reduced storage footprint;
  • improved product traceability;
  • faster picking and placing procedures, which are automated and do not require operator intervention within the storage environment;
  • more efficient management of finished product storage, with item classification according to the type of product, batch, origin and source;
  • excellent flexibility to adapt to production increases or changes in demand;
  • interface with the company’s ERP and other systems through the WMS, for just-in-time warehouse management.

Many solutions for all temperatures
Companies in need of logistics systems for managing cold chains can choose from many solutions. The systems designed and built by the Ferretto Group include, for example, the Miniload automated storage and retrieval systems as well as pallet racking systems, while the picking solutions include stacker cranes or shuttle-based systems which are ideal for multi-depth racking systems. These systems are particularly useful in production sites with a high number of items involving intense picking and placing operations.

 

Automation for the cold chain
Barba Stathis' automatic storage cold room

Barba Stathis' automatic storage cold room

The Ferretto Group can boast extensive experience in the food sector and significant collaborations with cold chain logistics companies. One example is Barba Stathis, a Greek company of the Vivartia group that produces and distributes frozen vegetables in European, American and Middle Eastern markets. To meet the challenges of continued growth, this company based in Thessaloniki chose an innovative Ferretto Group self-supporting automatic storage system: over 2,000 square meters where more than 10,000 pallets can be stored at a controlled temperature of -28°C.

Characteristics of the storage system
Comprised of 9-level multi-depth seismic-resistant pallet racking, the system is equipped with two cable stacker cranes supported by shuttles for the management of the automatic picking and placing of pallets. The system, which operates at a controlled temperature of -28°C, guarantees the proper storage of products and handles 30 inbound pallets and 30 outbound pallets per hour, serving both the production and the shipping department for a maximum of 20 hours a day, 7 days a week. Each aisle has 9 pallet spaces in depth on one side and 4 on the other side to allow SKUs with high rotation flows to be stored in the channels with fewer spaces and SKUs produced in large quantities to be stored in the side with more spaces. The storage system is also provided with peripherals supporting the inbound and outbound flows, which have been organized with bidirectional and diversified flows for semi-finished products headed to production, and for finished products ready for shipment. Thus, the new system has made it possible to significantly reduce manual handling, which means increased safety for both operators and stored goods. At the entry and exit of the storage structure there is a “compensation room” designed to prevent extreme temperature changes and the resulting formation of frost on doors and floors.

The advantages of automation at -28°C
Thanks to its new automatic storage system, Barba Stathis can count on a logistics system capable of meeting all the quality, safety, and product storage standards required by its cold chain.
Benefits:

  • storage space optimization;
  • increased productivity;
  • improved and faster activities in connection with the production and shipping departments;
  • improved inventory management thanks to centralized storage activities;
  • increased safety for operators.

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