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El Pozo: automatic food storage

Sector: Fresh and frozen

Automatic food warehouse: Autosatmover

El Pozo, one of the most respected food businesses in Spain, has its headquarters in the region of Murcia.
The company was founded in 1954 when its production activities began with the first cured meat production factory and the sale of products in the region. Today, four out of five Spanish families choose El Pozo’s high quality products, its fresh meat and processed and cured products.

Following a philosophy of continuous improvement, the company dedicates a large amount of resources to the research and development of healthy, nourishing food, with an attentive eye also on prices, which are always affordable. With over 60 years of history and an established presence on the market in over 80 countries worldwide, over the last few years El Pozo has seen considerable growth, which has necessitated a rethink of its internal logistics and an evaluation of an expansion of the warehouses.

For this reason, El Pozo decided to trust in Automha with whom it shares a pioneering approach and a desire to invest continually in improving its business. This collaboration led to the construction of a automatic food storage, developed within an existing building and designed for fresh products. The operating environment is set at a temperature of between -18°C and -26°C with a humidity level that is kept constant.

Problem
El Pozo has seen considerable growth in recent years: an increase of 18% in sales abroad and an increase of 8% in the workforce in 2017 alone.  The Spanish company found itself faced with warehouses that were unsuitable for the large volumes of work, which in the long term would have meant that it would not be able to provide a service in line with its principles of efficiency and putting the customer first. Automha was selected for this reason.

Automha’s solution was focussed on making use of an existing building, creating a automatic food storagee that, on the one hand, made full use of the existing area by utilizing a building that was not fully exploited, and on the other, enabled an increase in stored goods.

Once the problem of space was resolved, the main obstacle appeared to be how to construct a warehouse with low temperatures and constant humidity levels, conditions that are generally poorly tolerated by mechanical and electronic instruments. El Pozo was able to rely on Automha, which has always invested in the research and development of machines and systems that work in extreme temperatures without affecting their performance.

Solution
The new Automha warehouse makes full use of the entire area: 56x27x22 m. After deciding to use an existing building to create the new warehouse, Automha opted to install Autosatmover, the ideal, fully automated system for multi-depth storage, which could be perfectly adapted according to the constraints imposed by the building.

This machine, designed by Automha without batteries and using instead a patented system that supplies power though busbars, is fully compatible with low-temperature storage operations.

The warehouse has 10 storage levels. Each level is served by an Autosatmover, which handles single-item pallets.
The system is composed of the following machines.

  • 10 Autosatmovers
  • 2 Lifters

The management software is AWM with HMI interface; the AWM communicates with the customer’s ERP system. In addition, there is an incoming and outgoing handling system on two levels. The system is also able to perform 50 single cycles each hour of incoming goods and 50 of outgoing goods.  The loading units transported reach a maximum weight of 750 kg, for a total of 4,750 loading units stored.

Advantages
In 2018 and for the third year running, El Pozo was one of the brands most purchased by Spanish families, with significant growth also in exports. Thanks to the new warehouse, the company now efficiently meets the growing demand while maintaining its quality standards.

The adoption of Autosatmover enabled the use of a multi-depth storage system and, since it is a compact machine designed to move along the outer lane of the storage shelving, ensured that full use was made of the internal spaces of the warehouse.

Lastly, each level is served by a Lifter, which takes the pallets picked by the automatic vehicle to the handling bays and vice versa, allowing, therefore, Autosatmover to complete missions even during the ascent and descent phases of the lifters, and thereby guaranteeing continuous activity without wasting time and resources.

Gallery

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