5. July 2022
(Marchtrenk, 5 July 2022) By the end of 2025, a highly automated fulfillment center for meat products will be built for the Bell Food Group in the Swiss municipality of Oensingen. This high-performance system will concentrate the company's currently decentralized logistics into one location, significantly lowering operational costs and raising the level of service for their customers. On top of that, Bell is putting its trust in TGW's software competence: one central element of the project is the connection to SAP EWM.
The Bell Food Group is among the leading European manufacturers of meat and convenience products. Founded in Switzerland in 1869, the grocery specialist recently generated a revenue of nearly $4.4 billion USD. Bell is part of the Coop Group, along with Eisberg, Hilcona and Hügli; their product range comprises fresh meat, poultry, cold cuts, seafood, and fresh and non-perishable convenience products like ready-made meals, salads, sandwiches, and sauces.
The new fulfillment center will be the central picking and distribution location for packaged, ready-to-sell, fresh service counter goods and self-service goods: it will supply not only supermarket branches, but also wholesalers and individual entrepreneurs, which necessitates a need for speed and flexibility in fulfillment operations. The products will arrive from Bell's various production facilities and be labeled, temporarily stored, and picked according to individual customers' requirements.
The heart of the solution will consist of a two-part shuttle system with 190,000 storage locations: a thirteen-aisle picking module and an eight-aisle goods-out module. More than 400 shuttles will handle rapid and energy-efficient storage and retrieval of goods. Connected to the shuttle system are 42 PickCenter One workstations for split-case order lines. These 1:1, goods-to-person stations will provide fast and accurate picking operations for any customer type. Twelve labeling lines will have a capacity of up to 700,000 sales units per day. This solution ensures that goods can be picked, palletized, and ready for goods-out within about two hours, and will give Bell the flexibility to react to changes in order structure and customer type.
In the course of their distribution model, the process for handling empty load carriers will also be centralized. Bell uses a closed tote circulation model: customers' used totes, roll cages, and pallets are returned to Oensingen for cleaning. On peak days, Bell processes up to 80,000 totes: first they are automatically depalletized, checked, and cleaned. Then, the system makes them available once again to production or order picking.
Bell is also putting its trust in TGW's competence regarding software, opting for a complete SAP interface. SAP EWM (Extended Warehouse Management) is a high-performance warehouse management software that plans, controls, and monitors both manual and automated processes. It enables holistic process handling, from goods-in to goods-out.
"We're delighted to have won Bell over with the advantages of our solution," emphasize Johann Steinkellner, CEO Central Europe at TGW and Thomas Kretz, Managing Director TGW Switzerland. "With this highly automated fulfilment center, Bell will profit from optimal performance at the highest level of flexibility and concentrate its logistics in one central location."