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Automated plant logistics doubles output for pre-packed meat producer

16 January 2017

A Dutch manufacturer of pre-packed meat products has automated its in-house logistics using an IT solution from CSB-Automation and CSB-System. The new system is helping the company meet the needs of its customers more efficiently, with a delivery performance of over 99%. 

With the CSB solution, the entire materials flow at ProMessa has been automated – from packaging following production, to storage and picking, and loading onto trucks. Traditionally, goods and crates at the plant were moved manually. Today, robotic technology, conveyor systems, sorters and the CSB software work seamlessly together to handle the task.

The software organises and monitors a network of machines – including two automatic crate storages, robot units, four automatic weigh labelling lines with connected sorters, a dispatch warehouse and a conveyor system. Integrated production scheduling ensures tuning of workflows in terms of time and quantity.  Any important details, such as up-to-date order, production and inventory data, are captured and processed in real-time.  Such a high degree of networking has facilitated fast and error-free processes and has greatly increased productivity.

“We deliver a vast range of products to about 1,200 supermarkets,” said Harold Rouweler, managing director at ProMessa. “The logistics system helps us to pick and deliver even small quantities in an efficient manner. Our customers can order any item even on short notice. Everyone who places their orders in time usually will receive the goods on the very same day.
“We have nearly doubled our output – sometimes to more than 100,000 packages per day,” he continues. “We would never have achieved such growth rates without the new logistics system, which was established in the existing buildings without any major staff increase.”

In accordance with the company’s FIFO policy (first in, first out), the CSB-System software constantly reorganises the warehouse by re-stacking the plastic storage containers. Next, it groups together order data, products and containers, before supplying them to the picking lines for weigh labelling. It also calculates quantities and volumes, necessary material flows and optimal conveyor tracks for loading the trucks. At special CSB-Racks, staff can easily see which order is being processed, which products and quantities belong to what order, and which labels need to be attached.

“Our staff at the sorters can handle numerous orders in parallel without any errors, and pick items directly for the dispatch crates,” continued Rouweler. “The work stations have an ergonomic design, avoiding unnecessary motion. As a result, we can process our large variety of products in an efficient manner, irrespective of the quantities ordered by our customers. The order quantity virtually has no effect anymore on the logistics costs.”

The entire intralogistics system was designed to offer a high level of productivity and flexibility.  For example, the high-performance despatch warehouse secures optimal picking of customer orders with the CSB-System generating individual sub-orders, depending on the availability of the goods.  The four weigh labelling lines are capable of compiling between 5,000 and 7,500 packages per hour in mixed containers, depending on the order structure.

ProMessa is now able to respond more quickly quicker to reorders without having to build up large stocks. Daily deliveries to customers can be realised even with very short order lead times. 


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