In Berggård Amundsen’s warehouse south of Oslo, Norway, the AutoStore™ system increased picking efficiency and made the property more environmentally friendly.
Berggård Amundsen (BA) is situated in Langhus, Viken, about 20 km (12 miles) south of Oslo, Norway.
The company is an electrical wholesaler that sells industrial equipment and products such as lighting, electric underfloor heating, cabling, solar energy products, electrical supplies, heating, and air-conditioning products.
Berggård Amundsen’s warehouse is better for the environment and also cost-efficient. It’s a win-win.
The family-owned business was founded in 1946. Since then, BA has grown in leaps and bounds under several guises. Today, 36 companies and 25 service centers form part of the Berggård Amundsen & Co AS avd Follo corporate family.
In 2003, the company had to build a new central warehouse in Ski, Viken, as they needed their 25 service centers to have packages ready to ship the morning after customers ordered them. With local electricians also prompted to stop by the warehouse to pick up parcels a mere 30 minutes after placing an order, BA needed a robust, efficient system and enough space.
“We’ve grown a lot in recent years and eventually ran out of space in our old warehouse,” says Rolf-Inge Danielsen, Logistics Director for BA. “We weren’t rigged to expand at that warehouse and didn’t fulfill our potential in terms of efficiency.”
The new warehouse, which covers 14,000 sqm (150,694 sf), has eight floors and houses approximately 11,000 products. It’s known for being powered by the sun, as well as being run by Robots.
When building the new warehouse, the electronics wholesaler wanted their new building to act as a visual representation of the products they sell. As a result, they had 1,050 solar panels installed on the roof. These panels also cover 50 sqm (538 sqf) of the façade.
Even though Norway doesn’t get as much sunlight during the winter as countries further south, the facility generates 230,000 kilowatt-hours of pure solar energy a year. Solar energy makes the company self-sufficient from April to September and also provides power to 40 electrical car chargers available to citizens.
But it isn’t only the environmentally friendly warehouse that’s attracted attention. The new AutoStore warehouse automation system has made it possible for BA to remain at the forefront of a highly competitive market.
Seventy percent of the picking at the new warehouse is currently done by the AutoStore system, which was installed in 2013. The system is empowered by Element Logic, who helped with the installation and continues to provide support.
The AutoStore grid holds 17,000 Bins and there are four pick stations. A total of 17 Robots glide over 16 layers of Bins at a speed of 3 m/s (9.8 ft/s) and use long grippers to pull up the requested Bins from below. Once the Robot has retrieved the right Bin, another Robot moves any displaced Bins back to their original positions in the grid.
The company had an AutoStore system at their previous warehouse, but they didn’t realize its full potential, according to Bethina Samnøy Siristuen, Project Manager for Logistics at BA. “We’re investing time in learning how to use the software efficiently, having our employees take courses from Element Logic, as well as using live statistics to improve our workflow.”
Niklas Poulsen from System Sales at Element Logic explains why AutoStore serves BA so well: “It’s designed to fit their needs and support maximum efficiency – for instance, having the grid in close proximity to the goods receipt and the conveyor system from ITO in the ceiling. This (design) allows trucks to take the shortest route (rather than going around).”
He also mentions the fact that the Robots regenerate energy when lowering Bins and braking. They can also work in the dark, which decreases energy consumption even further.
“BA’s warehouse is better for the environment and also cost-efficient. It’s a win-win,” Poulsen adds.
BA has also experienced several other benefits since installing AutoStore. These include:
AutoStore can fit any warehouse or fulfillment center. Make yours the next.