Miko Pac

E'gv® HYBRID system doubles pallet throughput

Egemin delivered a fully automated warehouse solution to Miko Pac based on E'gv® HYBRID technology for STILL trucks. That is automation technology for classic manual warehouse trucks. In doing so, Egemin achieved a world first. It's the first warehouse with fully automatic STILL FM-X reach trucks and MX-X very narrow aisle trucks operating in one singe hybrid AGV system. Miko Pac produces high-quality, innovative packaging, mainly for the food industry.

Logistics manager Frank Michielsen explains why they invested in a joint Egemin - STILL AGV solution. “Production is running at full steam. We are growing at a rate of around 6% a year, so we need more and more storage space. Because we did not have the space, we initially outsourced our storage needs to nearby warehouses. But that was expensive and also complicated our logistics: pallets have to be delivered, but also brought back again before they go out to our customers from here."

"Originally we were going to build a traditional very narrow aisle warehouse. The idea of an automated VNA warehouse gradually developed. After all, automated very narrow aisle trucks increase flexibility and are more cost-efficient compared to manual warehouse trucks. Automation has allowed us to further grow with the same number of people and to double the pallet throughput capacity in our warehouse."

The best of both worlds

Three E'gv® HYBRID STILL FM-X reach trucks transport pallets to the buffer locations in front of the warehouse. From there, pallets are retrieved by one of the four E'gv® HYBRID STILL MX-X very narrow aisle trucks. All warehouse trucks have an intelligent CAN-bus (controller area network) controller on board. This enables the control software to transmit commands to the trucks. Egemin's E'gv® HYBRID automation pack connects to this CAN-bus thanks to an intelligent software interface to control all movements of the truck, automatically. “That gives us the best of both worlds: Egemin was able to incorporate its many years’ experience with AGVs into STILL trucks, which we have always been very satisfied with,” continued Frank Michielsen.

Smart sensors

Egemin integrated smart sensors on the trucks that handle a wide array of operations:
  • Storage and retrieve pallets in rack locations
  • Handling of various pallet types: euro, chep, one-way, plastic and industrial pallets
  • Stacking wire mesh containers
  • Raw positioning to verify available location in the rack
  • Fine positioning to store and retrieve pallet in the rack
  • Safe truck navigation with automatic operation of brake pedal of truck upon detection of person, truck or pallet

More efficient, safer and cheaper

“The biggest advantage of our automated VNA warehouse is definitely the increased efficiency of our logistics operations,” confirms Frank Michielsen. “Thanks to automated tracking and tracing, we've been able to eliminate picking errors during the storage and retrieval of pallets. We work much more accurately now: when retrieving a pallet, a warehouse operator scans the pallet ID to get the right information on the pallet’s destination. Thanks to the narrow aisle design, the available storage capacity has increased considerably. The MX-X trucks operating through the narrow-aisles measure the space available and fill the racks depending on the size of the pallet. Previously, a narrow pallet was sometimes placed in a wide compartment, which wastes space. That's solved now."

Other advantages:
  • Continuous pallet infeed in the warehouse also at night and in the weekend in full 24/7 operation mode,
  • Reduced damage to pallets and goods due to less manual operations
  • Increased safety for warehouse staff thanks to reduced forklift traffic (no operators required for order picking in racking)
  • Lower energy costs in the warehouse (no lighting, heating required, more efficient use of battery power)

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What customers say
Manuel Izaguirre Zabala,
Georgia Pacific Spain

“We decided to automate the internal transport with Egemin AGVs because it allowed us to save on labour costs and to significantly increase traffic safety within our plant.”

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