SSI Schaefer realises the biggest investment in the history of Pistor AG
07. July 2011 SSI Schaefer realises the biggest investment in the history of Pistor AG From a static warehouse to a dynamic distribution centre with WAMAS®
Pistor was founded in 1916 as a retailer cooperative of the bakery and confectionery branch in Switzerland and even today still forms a real cooperative. Pistor AG is the leading business in the bakery/confectionery industry throughout Switzerland and the only independent wholesaler in the catering industry. Pistor's customers benefit from a comprehensive and specialised array of products ranging from bakery, kitchen, café and restaurant to kiosk and store. The individual services include the combined delivery of fresh and deep-frozen products as well as hard goods, financial services such as ordering and accounting aids, state-of-the-art IT as well as versatile sales support measures.
Due to the massive growth strategy of the business and the desire to be the best in every sector, Pistor was pushed to its performance limits. Since it was time for a major new step, Pistor decided to make the biggest investment in its business history:
The new construction of a state of the art distribution centre (WUZ West) with a sky walk that connects to the existing small package warehouse.
This project represented a quantum leap, which required the skills of a solid partner. That's why Pistor decided to once again put its trust in the collaboration with SSI Schaefer, which extensively supervised the logistics of the entire project as general contractor.
"High-tech distribution centre" for a secure future
The long-term goal of Pistor is to achieve a full product range. Consequently, the objective of the new distribution centre near Luzern, Switzerland was to optimise picking processes and the goods supply, to reduce cycle times as well as variable costs, to create ergonomic work stations and to ensure future expansions. The complete integration of the existing small package warehouse during running operations played a significant role during this project.
Another major challenge represented the strict schedule, and especially the high investment risk given the numerous technical innovations.
Within only two years of construction time, a volume of more than 300 single-family houses was built on a 6.700 m2 building area. The stacker cranes, which weigh several tons and are up to 24 m long, were accordingly positioned in a tightrope act over the roof by means of the biggest mobile crane within Switzerland. However, these are only a few of the many constructional highlights.
And the best thing about it is that future extensions of the warehouse capacity may be realized any time during running operations without any limitations.
Quality on the move
Goods-in - Goods inspection - Stock addition - Picking - Consolidation - Preparation for the customer transport - Truck loading - Moving the ordered goods on roll containers to the location desired by the customer and wishing a nice day. Top quality on the move!
Sounds easy, but there's an ingenious system behind it!
More than 8.000 different articles are automatically stored in the high bay warehouse according to the respective requirements and dynamically prepared at the picking front, which represents the vibrating centrepiece of the system. The variety and different sizes of the Pistor articles require an extremely flexible picking system. That's why the high bay warehouse was dynamically designed for pallets, small bins as well as trays. At the same time, the various requirements of the product range had to be taken into consideration since the goods are stored according to their temperature sensitivity.
The goods are picked on roll containers according to the principle "from heavy to light" in 8 well-lit picking tunnels in the high bay warehouse. Due to the exact calculation beforehand by the warehouse management system WAMAS and the alignment with the tour planning of the next day, a total of 12 different customer orders can be picked simultaneously per picking vehicle. The retrieval aid (drawer system) supports the employees ergonomically. During the picking, a peak performance of over 400 tons a day can be reached.
The required articles from the opposite small package warehouse arrive simultaneously via the sky walk in the consolidation area. Once completely automatically wrapped, they are forwarded along the conveying system towards the goods-out. Not only in the high bay warehouse, but also in the innovative Pistor trucks the goods are stored according to their temperature sensitivity. Due to three different temperature zones, the trucks allow the storage of all product ranges, i.e. dry, fresh and frozen goods.
Customer-orientation from one single source
The biggest advantage over the past lies in the fact that WAMAS organises all the various systems of Pistor in the high-performance system from one single source. The warehouse management system (WMS) connects the actual warehouse management with the software of the business processes including the order processing, tour planning, distribution and invoicing.
A further innovation represents the continuous breakage function. In any case, the breakage is automatically post-allocated and picked.
In addition to its function as a general contractor for the entire logistics installations, SSI Schaefer supplied its in-house WAMAS warehouse management and material flow system as well as the control engineering. Another major highlight represented the innovative safety concept featuring a safety PLC across all systems, which was employed for the very first time.
"Although the commissioning phase was pretty hectic since the picking was carried out in the old and new warehouse and two WMS systems were applied simultaneously, we managed to process all customer orders in time" recalls Roland Schweiger, manager of Pistor WUZ West. Even during the comprehensive testing period, the system was in fully running operations every day.
Profitability, quality, ergonomics & sustainability
The WUZ West substantially characterises the future development of Pistor.
The realisation of the new distribution centre generated a number of outstanding advantages, which include process and personnel cost savings due to the continuous logistics software, a higher energy efficiency as well as ergonomic work stations.
Thanks to this technological quantum leap, which by now has become THE sales argument in customer meetings, the Pistor AG can profit from a continuous growth, product range extensions, as well as a major competitive edge.
"We know SSI Schaefer as a very solution-oriented and professional partner, which also has the necessary flexibility when it comes to troubleshooting, fast decision-making and unconventional solutions", says Richard Betschart, project manager as well as logistics manager and member of Pistor's executive board about the collaboration with the general contractor SSI Schaefer.
Pistor AG and SSI Schaefer look at a bright future together and extension plans after the official inauguration are already in process. Richard Betschart about the plan: "The construction of the WUZ West for goods that are stored at room temperature was only the beginning. Two additional centres for refrigerated and frozen products are about to follow. Of course we are going to entrust this project to SSI Schaefer again and are convinced to have found the right partner for a successful future for Pistor."
Friesach (Graz), June 2011
For further information please contact:
Head press office SSI SCHAEFER Germany:
Julia Windmüller, Fritz Schäfer GmbH