Cimcorp, a manufacturer and integrator of turnkey robotic order fulfillment and tire-handling solutions, announces Edeka Rhein-Ruhr is equipping its new distribution center, located in Oberhausen-Waldteich, Germany, with a modern food storage and order picking system from Cimcorp. As part of Germany’s largest supermarket chain, Edeka’s regional Rhein-Ruhr business is investing in the construction project, which will be the largest in the company’s history. The ultra-modern distribution center, with a total floor area of 90,000 square meters, will go into operation in 2021. With this new facility, Edeka is creating around 1,000 jobs in the region.
The Oberhausen-Waldteich distribution center will supply 400 Edeka branches and 400 stores operating under other group brands in North Rhine-Westphalia. In the future, it will offer space for around 16,000 different dry, frozen and fresh product lines, most of which require different temperature zones. The warehousing solution from Cimcorp will ensure the reliable distribution of Edeka’s fresh food products, including fruit, vegetables and dairy foods.
The new facility, which is about the size of 13 soccer pitches, will be served by over 400 trucks every working day. It will supply food for 14 million people across North Rhine-Westphalia. Order fulfillment from the facility must be error-free and punctual, as every mistake can lead to delays. “For us efficiency, costs and ergonomics were decisive when we decided on Cimcorp as an experienced automation provider for our fruit and vegetable distribution,” explained Peter Bayer, Project Manager for Logistics and Organization at Edeka Oberhausen. “Since millions of people rely on the safety of their food, everything from the field to the table has to be perfect. We expect an extremely high availability of fresh products from Cimcorp, as these are extremely time-critical and sensitive.”
Kai Tuomisaari, Cimcorp’s Vice President, Sales, added, “When dealing with food, and especially with perishable products, accuracy and reliability are essential. The simplest rules of first-in-first-out methods add up in securing consumer safety. Automation also secures employee safety, because robots do all the heavy lifting and repetitive tasks that often lead to debilitating injuries.”
The facility has different temperature zones for fresh, frozen and dry foods. Cimcorp’s fresh food solution has two climate zones: +7 degrees Celsius (approximately 45 degrees Fahrenheit) for cheese and +12 degrees Celsius (approximately 54 degrees Fahrenheit) for fruit and vegetables. “The order includes several independent automation modules controlled by Cimcorp software, which integrates various technologies into a seamless system,” said Tuomisaari. “If one module is out of service for a while—for example, when cleaning is performed—the other modules run independently to ensure a reliable material flow.”
Overhead gantry robots handle food crates that are stacked on the floor—eliminating the need for an expensive shelving system. This is also essential for food safety. “Even with the most modern and safest handling of fresh food, you cannot avoid some perishable parts like stems, leaves or individual grapes from leaking out of the crates,” explained Tuomisaari. “With Cimcorp’s solution, all of this is noticeable on the floor and is easy to see—therefore easy to clean. During cleaning, crates can be moved to another module or stacked under the gantry robot to clear the floor.”
About Edeka Rhein-Ruhr
EDEKA-Handelsgesellschaft Rhein-Ruhr is one of seven regional companies of the Edeka Group, which was founded in 1898. Edeka is Germany’s largest supermarket corporation with around 11,500 stores and 336,100 employees. EDEKA Rhein-Ruhr supplies around 1,000 stores daily.
Cimcorp Group—part of Murata Machinery, Ltd. (Muratec)—is a leading global supplier of turnkey automation for intralogistics, using advanced robotics, material handling and software technologies. As well as being a manufacturer and integrator of pioneering material handling systems for the tire industry, Cimcorp has developed unique robotic solutions for order fulfillment and storage for the food & beverage, retail, e-commerce, fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) and postal services sectors. Together with its parent company, Cimcorp boasts a worldwide network of service locations. Designed to reduce operating costs, ensure traceability and improve efficiency, these systems are used within manufacturing and distribution centers in over 40 countries across six continents. For more information, visit http://www.cimcorp.com.