CSB-System International, Willowbrook, Ill., devised an advanced intralogistics system for Swiss cheese producer Züger Frischkäse AG in Oberbüren to automate the company’s stock control process while delivering a 50% time saving in picking speeds. Züger Frischkäse produces a range of cheeses, including mozzarella, feta, ricotta and mascarpone.
The company’s production is already characterized by a high degree of automation and fully integrated information technology. However, CSB-System was asked to modernize the intralogistics to provide a seamless link to the picking and replenishment processes. The CSB-System solution combines high bay storage with mobile picking. Every pallet in the high bay storage is linked to the system with its minimum sell-by date and lot number. This ensures that bays are filled according to the first-in, first-out principle.
In addition, the system provides an extra degree of control using master data from the ERP software. For example, the pallet height and the maximum weight can be checked. The master data can also specify whether or not the item first needs to be forwarded to a quick freezing position and in which segment of the warehouse and at what height it is stored.
The inventory management computer communicates with the CSB-System via defined interfaces to handle the automatic removal of pallets for replenishment during the picking process.
The picking process itself is paperless, using wireless technology to directly transmit to touch panels on the electric forklifts. The screen shows in which area of the picking zone the pallet with the required product can be found.
Using Bluetooth scanners, the pallet label is scanned, the corresponding number of items removed and the pick quantity confirmed. If a pallet is emptied, a new one is requisitioned automatically from the high bay storage, ensuring ongoing replenishment in the packing zone, so that customer orders can be processed quickly and efficiently.
Overall, Züger reports a 50% saving compared to its previous operation while the error rate has been minimized.
“We have elevated this area to a completely new level,” adds Markus Züger, deputy CEO. “Today, we are in a position to respond quickly and flexibly to customer demands.”