Location: Bolzano - Italy
A tradition that is preserved over time, but that is nonetheless able to innovate to guarantee excellence and quality. The temperature-controlled automatic storage system designed and constructed by the Ferretto Group for the Laurin Cooperative in Bolzano is yet another milestone in the continuous modernization process the Alto Adige fruit-growing sector has always engaged in.
Cooperativa Laurin: Unity is strength
Fruit growing in Alto Adige - South Tyrol has a long tradition. The first cooperatives were established at the end of the 19th century and have increased their number over the years. Today, cooperatives are grouped in an even larger consortium, VOG (Fruit and Vegetable Cooperatives of South Tyrol), focused on the marketing of the most widely traded fruit in Europe, apples. The history of Cooperativa Laurin fits into this context, and began with the merger of two significant companies in the fruit sector: Dodiciville of Bolzano and Kaiser Alexander of Laives. There are many reasons that led to the merger of the two cooperatives, including their interest in the continuous improvement of product production, packaging and marketing for an ever expanding customer base. This was the basis for the establishment of the Cooperativa Laurin of Bolzano which currently manages an average of 60,000 tons of apples a year including storage, processing and distribution activities.
In the face of a growing market, Cooperativa Laurin was challenged to quickly and efficiently respond to an ever growing demand. To do this, it decided to upgrade its logistical structure, shifting from the traditional management of ground level storage to an automated temperature-controlled multilevel solution. The Ferretto Group accepted the challenge of helping the company in its evolution towards automation, designing and constructing a temperature-controlled (+1°C to +4°C) indoor storage system for the storage and correct preservation of the finished product, already boxed and ready to be shipped. With the new infrastructure and resulting logistics, the boxes arrive from production already prepared on pallets. Laser Guided Vehicles are used to pick up pallets and place them on a conveying system to transport them to the warehouse. Once there, a lift picks and places them on one of the 4 storage levels available. A shuttle based system then autonomously manages the storage and retrieval of the pallets within the storage system to prepare orders.
Compared to the previous ground level management method, the automatic solution offers numerous advantages including much better use of the available space and improved organization overall. The temperature-controlled solution also ensures the proper preservation of the product, a fundamental requirement from the customer. Finally, the automation of the storage and retrieval process enables the efficient management of the warehouse as a whole, greater control of stock and all the logistics involved in order preparation, as well as leaner, safer and faster truck loading and unloading operations.