Investing in safety and efficiency: Pallet wrapping machine in the AGRAVIS distribution centre

It is large, quiet and comes from Italy: The new pallet wrapping machine in the AGRAVIS Raiffeisen AG distribution centre distribution centre in Münster. It wraps 36 pallets an hour. This is already faster than the company's employees can pick the goods ordered by the customer. The 14 metres long and four metres wide machine uses two motors and a rotating arm to wrap articles on Euro pallets in film fully automatically.

"We work much more efficiently with the new machine and also make the goods safer for transportation. With the old semi-automatic machines, the employees still had to move some of the handles themselves. Everything now runs fully automatically in a matter of seconds," stresses Ralf Gleitsmann, Head of the AGRAVIS distribution centre. Additionally, the new machine also saves material. "We have therefore invested in sustainability and cost savings," says Ralf Gleitsmann. With a noise level of 63 decibels, the necessary compressor is also quieter than a conversation between two people.

Transport even safer

The process with the new machine works as follows: The forklift driver brings the full Euro pallet to the conveyor belt, from where it is transported to the wrapping station. The goods are then completely wrapped in film at a speed of 20 revolutions a minute. The special factor here: The machine stretches the film by 300 percent first and forms laces when wrapping in order to wrap the despatch-ready pallet even tighter. "The machine helps to make the goods even safer for transport, as the loading equipment is closely connected to the goods," according to the head of the distribution centre.

The cost of the new facility amounted to 100,000 Euro. High-quality sensors linked to the software scan the merchandise on the pallet so that it can be individually packed according to quantity and type of packaging. Beyond this, the sensors ensure that the spaces between the pallets are maintained on the conveyor track and that there are not any collisions. There is space on the accumulating conveyor for a maximun of seven pallets.

Investment in storage strength

45 logistics employees can now use the new machine every day, depending on the order volume. "First of all, the processes have to be learned, but the machine will soon pay for itself. It is an investment in the strength of the stores, loading safety and sustainability at the same time," stresses Markus Menne, Logistics manager at AGRAVIS Raiffeisen AG. The investment is part of the "Logistik 21" project. Individual processes in the distribution centre are being successively optimised and the interaction between the retail department and logistics is constantly being improved for the long term.