Egemin Automation. Everything under one roof. Swiss logistics company Schöni AG has spent the last two years building a new head office in Rothrist, Argau with this very objective. The company merged two subsidiaries and erected a new administration building and a new distribution facility on a 68,000 m² building lot.
Egemin Automation has been awarded the job of delivering the ideal conveyor technology for the 10,800 m² logistics area. E’tow, Egemin’s high-performance in-floor conveyor system that provides high throughput and reliable warehouse process flows, will ensure that Schöni can handle its increasing volumes without a hitch. The intralogistics processes in the 3PL provider’s distribution hub will run smoothly and fully organised.
Up to 1,500 tons of goods – parcels, chilled items and bulk materials – arrive at the cross-docking hub every day. Schöni delivers the products to customers all over Europe within 24 hours or less. A smooth materials flow is crucial in order to meet these demanding requirements. For this purpose, Schöni decided to choose for Egemin Automation to equip its new hub with two E’tow conveyor systems, each 260 m long. This automated transport system operates via a powered chain which is fully integrated in the floor.
The system will have a throughput capacity of 337 pallet trucks per hour on both main loops – one for domestic transport and the other for international. The loops will automatically take the pallets to the required buffer storage location. In addition, the system will consist of two transfers that link the loops and shorten transport routes if necessary. These transfers will automatically transfer pallet trucks from one loop to the other, ensuring optimum routing. “The E’tow system will increase not only our transport throughput but also the number of shipments. We expect to cut our shipping costs by around 30%. Our staff used to have to cover several miles a day to bring the goods to their designated destinations – now it’s just a few hundred metres. The new system will substantially reduce the strain on our workforce,” explains Daniel Schöni, owner of Schöni Transport AG.
SMART SOFTWARE FOR AUTOMATED MATERIAL FLOWS
Egemin will be installing Schöni’s first ever automated barcode station, which will read the barcodes fixed to the side and top of each pallet at a height of 0.5–1.80 meters and up to 0.5 meters respectively. Egemin’s E’arl® system, an automatic measuring and weighing unit, will then log all the cargo information, e.g. volume and weight. This guarantees reliable billing and ensures that lorries are loaded efficiently, taking account of maximum payload.
The system is controlled by the standard Egemin software components for E’tow, which merge all the process and system data. The software monitors individual product carriers, such as hand pallet trucks, so that transport routes are easy to trace and verify. What’s more, the in-floor chain conveyor system is low-maintenance and extremely robust. Embedded clean-out boxes along the route pick up any dirt from the chain while it’s operating. The result: very little maintenance and less than 0.2% annual downtime. “Schöni can customize the in-floor chain conveyor system based on its needs, and use the modular system to add other types of product carriers as they’re required. Less forklift trucks in the hub also means lower noise levels and fewer hazards for staff,” explains Stephan Vennemann, country manager of Egemin GmbH, Egemin’s Germany office.