FRIGO brand ice cream made by UNILEVER FOODS España produces millions of litres of ice cream at its facility in Barcelona and approached Interroll to provide a dynamic storage solution to support the cooling process and distribution of its product.
In order to give the liquid mixture coming from the production facility time to solidify into ice cream, Unilever passes the mixture through a freezing tunnel, cooling it down to -28°C. Only then is it ready for delivery.
Following this, product is then palletised and transferred into an Interroll Pallet Flow storage system.
Pallet Roller Flow storage systems feature in many storage applications and distribution centres, including ambient, chilled and cold store environments down to -28°C. Its many benefits are widely acknowledged in providing one of the densest forms of storage, requiring minimum handling and offering guaranteed FIFO (First-In-First-Out) order picking and accurate stock rotation – resulting in many potential increased efficiencies.
Interroll Pallet Flow maximises the use of available warehouse space by requiring only two aisles for the purpose of loading the system and order picking. This compact storage technology saves on space and therefore, UNILEVER only required 4,500 m3 to support the system and its operation. As a result this saved on energy consumption and operating costs, which was seen as being vitally important at a time when energy prices are exploding. The warehouse has space for 648 pallets including the 576 in the flow storage system and stock is turned over every 24 hours.
EURO pallets weighing up to 1,200 kg are transported on three levels, each with 13 lanes and a capacity of 16 pallets per lane. One full lane of palletised product adds up to virtually 20 tons of ice cream!
Interroll’s engineers have developed a Pallet Roller Flow system that incorporates innovative technology featuring a wearless speed controller and a robust pallet separator. To guarantee safety, speed controllers are strategically placed to prevent the possible risk of free running pallets and if these are accidently damaged, they will automatically self lock and the pallet will be stopped. Two safety separators at the order picking face provide for maximum security when offloading the heavy pallets.
To ensure that it is only the ice cream that freezes up, UNILEVER places the pallets on specially designed Interroll conveyor rollers that are unaffected by the Arctic temperatures.
Order Picking on a First-In-First-Out basis from only one aisle simplifies location and visual identification of pallet loads, minimises order picking errors and reduces forklift travelling time. Therefore, this layout contributes to significant savings in handling times and creates opportunities to reduce energy costs.
Quite a job for a flow storage system, don’t you think?
• Heavy pallets of 1200 kg
• Extremely low ambient temperature of -28°C below zero
• High throughput
• Short travel distances
• Easy forklift service
• Compact design saves space and energy
Mr Chris Middleton, Managing Director
Tel: 01536 200 322