News Archive 2008

12
Feb
2008
Biggest in-floor chain conveyor project ever
The brand-new logistic system at FloraHolland Rijnsburg was officially taken into use last February. The LPR Project (Logistic Plan Rijsburg) aims for adjusting FloraHolland Rijnsburg's logistic processes to the company's growth strategy in the long term. With the new logistic system the first stage of the plan has been finished. This stage provides for growth until the year 2020.

Egemin Automation has taken care of the automation, control and sorting of the internal transport of the flower trolleys from the conditioned storage area to the 6 auction clocks and from the clocks to the distribution area. To accomplish this Egemin Automation has realised its biggest in-floor chain conveyor project ever!

Fast and reliable delivery

FloraHolland has determined its need for space in the Rijnsburg auction for the period until 2020 and afterwards in the Structural Vision Rijnsburg 2020. The Logistic Plan Rijnsburg (LPR) is the detailed elaboration of this structural vision.

FloraHolland Rijnsburg wants to keep ensuring fast delivery of its products. Due to increasing offer and a decreasing size of the average transaction, a lot of pressure was being put on the logistic process. That's why far-reaching modifications were required to maintain the service level. The realization of the LPR has accomplished that: shorter logistic running times and a reliable delivery process!

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Auctioning with 6 auction clocks

The logistic process actually starts the day before the auction. Upon arrival at the auction building; the growers put their flowers in special flower trolleys for sampling. Next, the trolleys are brought to the conditioned storage room awaiting next day's auction process. This supply process continues the whole night until 4 o'clock in the morning.

A half an hour before the auction all trolleys in the storage rooms are placed onto the towline systems. As soon as the first trolley reaches its auction clock, the chain conveyor is stopped. When the auction is opened, the auction master starts the conveyor once again at variable speed. After all, some trolleys need to wait longer in front of the clocks because there are more buyers for them.

Once all flowers on the trolley have been sold, it leaves the auction room and is sent to the invoicing area via an exit lane. Here, one or more delivery notes are attached to the trolley depending on the number of buyers. Each trolley is automatically sorted on the exit lane by reading its RFID tag through the PLC. The host system indicates the destination of the trolley.

Time-critical distribution

Next, the system automatically sorts the trolleys to the right output lane depending on the nature of the purchase. Single-purchase trolleys (trolleys with only one buyer), and rush trolleys (trolleys for which the buyer pays an extra commission) are directly brought to the buyer via two individual output lanes.

Multi-purchase trolleys (trolleys with several buyers) are sorted to the distribution zone using three other output lanes. In this zone, flowers of one buyer are placed together onto empty trolleys next to the conveyor. Electro tuggers bring the full trolleys of one customer to the destination zone together with the other trolleys with the same destination. It is of the utmost importance that each trolley reaches its corresponding buyer within a predefined time. Hence, the distribution process is extremely time criticial.

Image auctioning

FloraHolland will also sell flowers through image auctioning in the future. The trolleys on the 4 image lanes take a shorter route just before they reach the clocks and are directly sent to the invoicing area. A major advantage of this type of selling is that the trolleys can remain longer in the conditioned area and are less exposed to temperature variations.

Ticking clocks

The installation of the entire E'tow®-transport and sorting system, in total 4,500 meters long, and the corresponding automation, had to be installed according to a very tight time schedule. After all, the implementation of E'tow® had to be seen in a bigger logistic project including the phased removal and lifting of the entire auction roof, the construction of an intermediate floor for extra distribution capacity and a substantial expansion of the auction building. Meanwhile, the auction clocks remained working day after day and Egemin Automation installed new parts of the system, phase after phase.

Thanks to its years of experience in the auction world Egemin Automation succeeded brilliantly in this genuine challenge. From the start Egemin Automation was thinking along with the customer. The result is an optimally working system that has been delivered to the customer within the time schedule and the budget.


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