CIECH Soda Polska is the largest salt producer brewed in Poland and a leading supplier of salt tablets for water treatment in Europe. The plant located in Janikowo produces more than 1500 tons of salt a day in a 24h / day system. As a result of the investment, the amount of salt produced was significantly increased, which also entailed changes in its storage.
The plant produces salt for 7 days a week, while loading and transports take place from Monday to Friday, which additionally forces the storage of the entire weekend product. Until now, with large quantities of goods, but relatively small number of indexes, drive-in racks were perfect, but with systematically growing production, this solution slowly became insufficient. Therefore, a decision was made to modernize and expand the storage area. The goal of the investment was to improve the liquidity of deliveries and customer service as well as to enable further production growth and expansion of the range of salt products. On the site there was a place that could be used for storage purposes, but it was too small to fill it with standard pallet racking and made it possible to save the necessary quantity of goods. Thus, other possibilities were analyzed: the drive in racks had too large depth and access restrictions, the flow racks would cause large losses at height, while the mobile racks were unsuitable for the salt storage due to the specificity of the work. That is why specialists from PROMAG proposed a racks system supported by a AutoMAG shuttle truck which fills the warehouse like a drive-n rack, but has no length restrictions, allows you to store more indexes and speeds up the service of shelving even with fewer employees.
Guidelines regarding the planned investment assumed that the block of racks could have a maximum of 19 m in height and occupy an area of 2,500 m2. It should hold a minimum of 13,000 units from the production line to warehouse and with the further possibility of expanding to 20,000 units. within the next 2-3 years. To meet this challenge, it was necessary to equip eight of the 12 levels of shelving with AutoMAG shuttle trolley. As a result, the customer has received the required number of storage places, maintaining the possibility of using standard warehousing trucks until the completion of the second stage of the investment, which will result in complete warehouse automation (entry of goods from the production line to the warehouse and automatic release of it under the loading docks).
Already at the first stage of the investment, the solution implemented in the CIECH warehouse is unique, because it is the deepest of this type of storage system in Poland. The shelves are almost 80 m deep, which makes it possible to freely align 83 pallet units side by side. At present, almost 15,000 tons of goods can be stored on them, and after expansion, this amount will increase to almost 21,000 tons. The racks are supported by 6 AutoMAG shuttle trucks. Goods come from five production lines and are released on 4 conveyors located at the docks, so that forklift operators can travel the shortest distance. 660 tonnes of steel were used to construct the system, including 36 thousand meters of poles, 25.4 thousand meters of guides, almost 150,000 screws, over 4 thousand anchors, 584 m of chain and 887 m of 80x2 fi pipes for making roller conveyors.
The new CIECH warehouse makes it possible to maintain the FIFO principle, while maximizing the use of space. The warehouse operates on the basis of the WMS system, which determines the optimal location of specific products. The use of semi-automatic shuttle trolleys controlled by radio largely reduced the work of operators. The new warehouse means three times more storage possibilities for ready-made products, the loading time cut in a half and the possibility of expansion and further automation in the future.