UNICEF

SSI Schaefer realized the new, globally operating distribution center in Copenhagen as general contractor for the design, construction, and intra-logistics equipment. The design for continuously automated material flow and the intelligent interaction of different systems, components, and equipment features provide high availability and efficiency for a fast supply to conflict areas.

Only a few months after its completion, the building is already a visible landmark in Copenhagen. It rose within 12 months next to the gate to the port along the seafront and is a classic industrial building. Still, all of Denmark is proud of it - not just because of the visually pleasing façade reaching 24 m high, but also because the building accommodates the new global warehouse of the United Nations Children's Fund, UNICEF.

UNICEF Distributionszentrum Innen
  • UNICEF: Lagerbetrieb von Innen
  • UNICEF: Innenansicht des Lagers

After an international bid, the intra-logistics specialist SSI Schaefer, was awarded the contract as general contractor for the design and creation of this important hub for global aid programs. On a plot the size of more than three soccer fields in the port of Copenhagen the systems supplier erected a fully automated distribution center with different picking areas - over 9.000 m2 of storage space in total. A high-bay warehouse with 8 aisles was erected as rack-supported building where the supports of the racking system simultaneously function as supporting elements for the roof and walls. There are areas with different temperatures in the building and 36.000 pallet positions for double-deep storage. Attached are a miniload with 3.000 tray storage positions in 2 aisles, a closed and refrigerated storage area for manual picking of pharmaceutical items, a storage section for bulky goods, and a supply storage for packing material. All in all, 1.200 t of steel and 15 km of cable were used to build this warehouse complex. For the transportation of the inhouse pallets, SSI Schaefer further installed a circumferential 450 m long electric rail system. With 44 vehicles the rail system supports the fast pallet transport within the whole warehouse complex. The processes are controlled by WAMAS, the warehouse management system developed by SSI Schaefer.

“A very complex system not only regarding efficiency, high standards for certain storage goods, such as medicine, as well as special ecological and ergonomic requirements in Scandinavia," explains Niels Kristian Vittrup, local project manager SSI Schaefer Northern Europe. „Aside from the realized, continuously automated material-flow design, the interaction of numerous, specific components and equipment features makes this solution one of the most modern distribution centers in the world.“

  • UNICEF Intralogistik
  • UNICEF Logistikdrehscheibe

Through the distribution center in Copenhagen the organization is able to deliver relief supplies within 48 hours. Two inbound stations that feed the electric rail system contribute to this. After the goods-receiving inspection the palletized goods are recorded in the IT system, the pallets are labeled with a barcode created by WAMAS, and then fed into the automated material flow. One of the inbound stations is equipped with an automatic stretching system, and the pallets that have to be secured with foil for safe transport and storage are fed in. The electric rail system first connects the goods-receiving area with the high-bay warehouse. At the transfer stations of the high-bay warehouse the pallets are taken over and then stored by storage and retrieval machines (SRM). "It sounds like a standard material flow system, but the UNICEF distribution center is loaded with technical highlights," Peter Diener, project manager at SSI Schaefer, explains. “Considering the different relief supplies, the high-bay warehouse is divided into different temperature zones and closed-off from the low-bay area that is equipped with air-conditioned work stations."

Lagerlogistik bei UNICEF in Kopenhagen
  • Packportal im Logistikzentrum der UNICEF
  • UNICEF Zentralager mit Packportal

Through the distribution center in Copenhagen the organization is able to deliver relief supplies within 48 hours. Two inbound stations that feed the electric rail system contribute to this. After the goods-receiving inspection the palletized goods are recorded in the IT system, the pallets are labeled with a barcode created by WAMAS, and then fed into the automated material flow. One of the inbound stations is equipped with an automatic stretching system, and the pallets that have to be secured with foil for safe transport and storage are fed in. The electric rail system first connects the goods-receiving area with the high-bay warehouse. At the transfer stations of the high-bay warehouse the pallets are taken over and then stored by storage and retrieval machines (SRM). "It sounds like a standard material flow system, but the UNICEF distribution center is loaded with technical highlights," Peter Diener, project manager at SSI Schaefer, explains. “Considering the different relief supplies, the high-bay warehouse is divided into different temperature zones and closed-off from the low-bay area that is equipped with air-conditioned work stations."

  • UNICEF Lagerlogistik
  • Automatisches Kleinteilelager
  • AKL Unicef
  • Inhousepalletierung

As the electric rail system, however, is in charge of the transportation of the pallets between the different temperature zones, the installation of rapid action doors or some such device was not possible. Instead, a special "air curtain" prevents the air exchange between the refrigerated warehouse and the tempered work zones. "It is part of the intelligent sensor-controlled heating system that was installed in the warehouse complex," Diener explains. Thus, the warehouse possesses a special air circulation system. Below the ceiling, it blows warm air into the rack aisles; the warm air presses toward the floor. The operation of the SRMs exchanges the warm air in the rack aisles and distributes it. “Thus, different temperature zones between 5° to maximal 25° Celsius can be produced in the warehouse and the floor will stay frost-free even in very severe winters," says Diener. Furthermore, the façade of the high-bay warehouse is covered with fins that allow a targeted cooling of the warehouse at higher outside temperatures. Smoke outlet domes extract the warm air from the rack aisles. For optimal use of these climatic conditions the relief supplies are stored corresponding to their temperature sensitivity, which is achieved by eight modern SRMs developed by SSI Schaefer. They autonomously identify the pallets by the barcode labels and store them according to the storage positions given by WAMAS. With their telescope forks they can store and retrieve the industrial pallets (1.000mm x 1.200 mm) used in the UNICEF distribution center with a weight of up to 1.000 kg double-deep - with a handling capacity of up to 195 double cycles per hour. The low approach dimensions of the SRMs allow an optimal use of space in the high-bay warehouse. „Furthermore the SRMs are part of an innovative fire protection system that was realized in Copenhagen," says Diener. In case of a fire, they take on the fire extinguishing function of the fire department as all SRMs are additionally equipped with continuous fire hoses that are supplied by hydrants near the high-bay warehouse.

Palletierroboter
  • HRL
  • Unicef Hochregallager

When orders arrive in Copenhagen from conflict areas around the world single item pallets are retrieved from the high-bay warehouse to two pre-pick work stations. There, the prepackaging of mixed pallets happens. At each work station a mixed pallet is packed from two stock pallets that are delivered by the electric rail system. Then, the electric rail system returns the prepackaged pallets to the high-bay warehouse or supplies two repackaging stations with them where trays are stored in the miniload. Turnable and tiltable scissor lifts for the pallets relieve the staff within the ergonomics@work!® design by SSI Schaefer from physically demanding jobs.

Boxed small items are stored on trays in the miniload. At the transfer stations, the two Schaefer Miniload Cranes (SMC) take over the loaded trays with up to 50 kg weight and distribute them to the storage positions in the miniload according to specifications from WAMAS. For the prepackaging of boxes with small items, the trays are retrieved at five work stations with five picking places each located in front of each miniload. Picking is done by the Pick-to-Tote system directly into the transport and delivery boxes. "When dealing with urgent needs, the high number of identical relief supplies in the miniload makes it possible to quickly react to the requests by arranging supply boxes of the same content at the picking places in a fast and efficient way," Diener says. Picking instructions are shown on displays. After picking is completed, the boxes are automatically closed, labeled, and transferred to a conveyor line that conveys them to the palletizing robot. Controlled by the warehouse management system (WMS) WAMAS and aligned according to the size of the boxes the industrial robot creates the mixed pallets with its gripper system and transfers them to one of two outbound conveyors. Those are additionally loaded by the electric rail system with complete pallets from the high-bay warehouse.

Packplatz
  • Inhousepalettierung im Betrieb
  • Unicef WA

For bigger items not suitable for storage in the miniload separate picking stations are provided. Supported by scissor lifts and vacuum lifting equipment, workers pick according to the Pick-to-Tote system at 21 pallet storage positions directly from the pallet. After automatic strapping and labeling, the supply boxes are conveyed to the conveying line that feeds the boxes to the palletizing robot - and from there to the outbound conveyors for pallets. For replenishment of these picking stations, a storage area at ground level was created for more than 100 pallets. According to instructions from the fork lift routing system of the WMS the necessary pallets are taken by fork lifts from the conveyors and prepositioned at the replenishment stations.

At the goods-out section, the consolidation of the orders is finally done with the supply items from other picking locations. Fork lifts transport bulky goods from the bulky-goods section as well as a separate, chilled picking zone for pharmaceuticals to the spot – optionally, they could also be fed into the conveyor system and distributed to the outbound conveyors by the electric rail system.

With an intelligent material flow concept, modern system components, and the principle of compact storage, relief supplies are thus prepackaged according to demand at the UNICEF distribution center in Copenhagen. Via airplane or ship they reach their destination all over the world.

Außenansicht des Distributionszentrums der UNICEF in Kopenhagen
WEASEL® has won the IFOY-Award
IFOY-Award für das WEASEL®

 

SSI Schaefer's automated guided vehicle (AGV) Weasel® has won the 2016 "International Forklift of the Year" (IFOY) Award in the "Intralogistics Solutions" category. SSI Schaefer has received this accolade for the implementation of an internal fleet solution at NextLevel Logistik® GmbH in Germany.

 

Project video

Information and consulting
Information and consulting

Just give us a call:

+49 (0) 2735 701

We are going to help you!

... or send us an E-Mail

Our sector-specific references

Select country

Close