The Nordfrost Group is an internationally operative specialist for deep-freeze logistics with a turnover of some 400 million euros and a workforce of 2,800 employees. The company offers its customers in food retailing and the catering industry supply-chain management from a single source ranging from shipping, warehousing, and order picking to final distribution. In Herne, North Rhine-Westphalia, TGW is currently building an automated deep-freeze warehouse for cartons and pallets for Nordfrost. Go-live is expected for as early as October 2020.
Founded in 1975, Nordfrost is a family-owned company with distribution centers throughout Germany and a network of 37 branches spanning the whole of Europe. In recent years, Nordfrost has experienced strong growth and is looking to expand its capacities in the German Ruhr region by concentrating them at one location. The new facility in the city of Herne will therefore assume the function of a central hub supplying customers from the entire region.
TGW excels with proven competence in the frozen-food sector
In designing the system, particular attention was paid to the minimal use of floor space. In addition, the interfacing between freezing temperatures and the workplaces poses a particular challenge. Christoph Wolkerstorfer, CSO of TGW Logistics Group, comments: “We were able to convince Nordfrost with our expertise in project planning as well as with our experience and excellent references from the deep-freeze industry. This will be the first facility with automated deep-freeze logistics for this customer, and if implemented successfully, more may follow.”
Automatic high-bay warehouse
In the incoming goods department, pallets are loaded with single-product items and are then either stored temporarily in the high-bay warehouse or moved directly to automatic depalletizing. Depending on the product, this is done by TGW depalletizing robots or at manual workstations. The goods are then temporarily stored in the shuttle system. After receipt of customer orders, the frozen goods are removed from storage and transferred sequentially to the workstations. The full pallets are then automatically packed and taken to the goods outfeed area.
High-efficiency shuttle in silo configuration
The shuttle warehouse in silo configuration features five aisles with roughly 66,000 slots for trays, while 75 energy-efficient Stingray shuttles provide fast and efficient transportation. The system is augmented by a six-aisle high-bay warehouse for pallets – also in a silo design – with more than 42,000 slots. In addition, the TGW scope of delivery comprises eight manual workstations and a sub-WMS for the shuttle system also linked to SAP. The individual sections of the system are interlinked with KingDrive® and pallet conveyor technology.