Bellsolà, a Spanish company founded in 1890 in Aiguaviva (Girona), specializes in the production of frozen bakery and confectionery items for the GDO, the normal trade and the Ho.re.ca channel.
As a small bakery in the Spanish province, Bellsolà has experienced steady growth over the decades, resulting in significant investments in production lines and new process technologies.
In February 2018, it joined the Monbake Group along with two other brands of Spanish frozen bakery empires. Bellsolà’s wide range of products and progressive increase in sales in the domestic and world market have highlighted the limitations of its old logistics-distribution system, leading the company to turn to Automha.
With the idea to streamline flows, Automha has rethought the previous logistics-distribution system, which was based on outsourcing the management of the finished product stock to several logistics partners, in manually controlled refrigerated rooms, located in distant areas even tens of kilometers from the production site. This system, in fact, generated constant critical issues, especially in shipment control, elongating the duration of truck loading times, too long in relation to the need to manage an increasingly intense distribution flow and, last but not least, in managing returns.
The company’s need was to eliminate the tertiary deposits and centralize the entire stock of finished product in a newly owned warehouse, adjacent to the production center and connected to the production lines, which would guarantee a high capacity of storage, consistent with the group’s growth plans, and affirm that it was the cornerstone of a new intralogistic structure aimed at offering customers a better level of service.
The customer’s needs have been met by Automha with a warehouse consisting of automatic multilevel satellites (AutosatMover), able to guarantee high performance, speed and storage management in layers that significantly increases the efficiency of the system.
Compared to “traditional” automation via stacker crane, in fact, satellite solutions offer the possibility to work autonomously and independently on each level of storage, making the system more flexible and minimizing problems related to possible failures and maintenance operations. In the case of a shuttle stop, in fact, all the other floors remain active, guaranteeing the full operation of the plant, since the references are placed by the WMS in a coherent way along all the storage levels. Another plus offered by this type of system regards the energy efficiency related to the consumption of the satellites, which are considerably lower than those of the stacker cranes (about 3 kWh of power installed on an Autosatmover compared to 25/30 KWh of the translation), an aspect certainly not to be underestimated within a highly energetic environment like that of refrigerated rooms.
The warehouse consists of:
18 Autosatmover (3 modules at 6 levels)
6 Autolifter (lifts) 2 for each module in / out
1 Robot palletizing island
TWL monorail circuit
Gravity roller system for preparing shipping orders
4 voice picking stations on two levels
4 exit bays
The warehouse is 20 meters high, 6 of which are underground, for a storage capacity of 8500 pallets, with temperatures up to -25°C
Advantages in choosing automatic refrigerators
The new system has brought immediate benefits in terms of control and operational management: the inventory, made previously extremely complex by the relocation of the stock to several separate refrigerated rooms, is now managed automatically by the WMS and the whole process, including the returns management, is much more efficient and boosts an error percentage of almost nothing. Furthermore, the implementation of the Automha systems has made it possible to speed up truck loading times. With an average load time of just 22 minutes in each bay, today Bellsolà manages to produce a daily load of 45 trucks, a quantity more than four times higher than the previous, which has made the company much more competitive, laying the foundations for a strengthening of operational capacity and for new growth scenarios on the national and international market.