Gescher-Hochmoor, March 13 2019 – Spring is approaching, making it the busiest season in plant logistics. When dealing with plants, there are many challenges – from correct handling of sensitive organisms to short turnaround times, so that the goods arrive fresh at the traders. Volmary, an internationally operating vegetable- and flower growing company in Münster, Westphalia also knows that. There, herbs, vegetables and flowering plants are preferred and made for wholesale. The company turned to TRAPO AG for the automation of intralogistics processes, a specialist in innovative complete line concepts. A high-capacity picking system was installed, tailored to the individual requirements of Volmary.
Volmary approached TRAPO AG with the requirement that up to 3,000 trays be picked per hour and that 3,500 different flower seedlings be traded in a database to be created. Special challenge: Some of the flexible, earth-filled trays are deeply rooted and plant parts also hang over the tray rim and obscure the code. Therefore, the conveyor belts employed had to be able to accommodate not only different sized and heavy trays, but also be dirt-resistant and easy to clean. "Another special feature was the automated trolley which supplies all plants," explains Jörg Thomas, Head of Sales at TRAPO AG. "In order to avoid the risk of collision with the conveyor belt, we have installed a pneumatic lifting system."
Complete documentation and reliable preparation
Volmary's product database manages around 3,500 individual items, each with a barcode that identifies it securely. This barcode is already assigned at the time of sowing. Thanks to the connection to the higher-level control system, the type-plate can be scanned, read out and the tray can be assigned to the respective sales order. If the plate is missing, the tray is automatically ejected. If, for example, leaves or dirt obscure the code, a jet will reveal the plate. An automated process chain then sets in motion: The higher-level control knows the contents of each individual tray and transmits to the picking system the information to which customer order a tray belongs. On the conveyor, the latter is provided by printer with the customer name and logistical information on stacking trolley and shelf. The control system flexibly assigns the total of 44 lanes to the respective customer. Via high-performance ejectors, the trays are transported on chutes, among which there are walkways. At the end of the chute, a braking mechanism prevents the back pressure from becoming too great, damaging plants.
"With the experience of three generations, we breed numerous plant varieties ourselves and are particularly responsive to the wishes of our customers. For example, we have expanded our assortment to include many organic varieties and vegetable rarities," says Raimund Schnecking, Product Consultant for Vegetables at Volmary. "Competence our customers rely on. Against this background, it was important for us to rely on a partner in intralogistics who ensures that the seedlings arrive safely and on time at the customer."
Here you can watch the high-capacity picking system installed by TRAPO AG at Volmary: https://youtu.be/bKiOlJtL3zA
Volmary GmbH is a leading supplier in Europe and a garden professional of high-quality seeds, seedlings and plants for bed and balcony – for gardening success according to the motto Grow For Gold®. As a family business since its establishment in 1925 the name has stood for success in classic plant breeding, selected varieties with special characteristics and a broad assortment.
About TRAPO AG
TRAPO AG, based in the Westphalian town of Gescher-Hochmoor, is a partner for industrial automation. Its core competencies include concept and engineering worldwide, production and commissioning as well as after-sales service for intralogistics machinery and plants. Across industries, TRAPO solutions are used in picking, packing, (de-) palletizing, wrapping, warehousing and in sorting and distribution technology. The goal: To meet the globally increasing demand for automation of all production processes. The claim: to offer solutions for the automation of diverse production processes before the demand arises. Customers worldwide benefit from more than 60 years of experience and know-how. With state-of-the-art technology, TRAPO AG sets new standards worldwide for smooth transitions into production and intralogistics. Research and development have always played a key role in the in-house technical center. TRAPO AG develops optimal solutions together with its customers and puts all functions under real conditions to the test in the TRAPO technical center.
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