MHD finds out how this Belgian deep-freeze company, Sivafrost, is helping its product manufacturer and retailer clients by using an automated deep-freeze, high-bay warehouse it has developed with Dematic.
Since 1986, logistics service provider Sivafrost has been the market leader in frozen product storage and packaging – specialising in the field of deep-freeze storage. Today, the successful family business has become an important supply chain partner for a growing number of frozen product manufacturers and retailers across the globe.
In an initiative to optimise its frozen storage capacity, Sivafrost installed an automated deep-freeze high-bay warehouse into its operation to increase capacity and offer even better quality to its customers – with technology and integration partner, Dematic.
The new automated warehouse now stores more than 30,000 pallets, which is double the company’s previous storage capacity of 15,000 pallet spaces.
Sivafrost moves to automated operations
Sivafrost’s core business is the packaging and storage of frozen food products, working with a diverse range of key customers and major industry players including Colruyt, Dira, Godiva, HerbaFrost, McCain and Mora. To this end, the company has invested in automated packaging lines as well as in innovative logistics solutions and auxiliary services over the past three decades. Sivafrost has also invested in renewable energy production as part of its focus on sustainability.
Sivafrost is now a crucial link in the supply chain for an increasing number of manufacturers and retailers. In order to offer customers better value and services in the future, Sivafrost initiated an automated and optimisation strategy to streamline operations for future growth and increased operational resilience.
“Just like other companies, we must constantly deal with opportunities and risks,” Stijn Siongers, Owner and CEO of Sivafrost says.
“Naturally, you can also generate growth opportunities yourself, not only by increasing business activities, but also by winning more customers,” he adds.
“The risks, in turn, depend on market conditions, which include room for expansion and a growing shortage of logistics staff. Thanks to Dematic, we were able to double our capacity with a fully automated deep-freeze high-bay storage unit with this project.”
An important part of Sivafrost’s master plan to take advantage of growth opportunities was the sustainable expansion of its deep-freeze storage capacity.
“Just a few years ago, we installed a wind turbine on our company premises to complement our existing solar park,” Stijn says.
“With these two sustainable energy generation plants, we can generate practically 80 per cent of the energy we use ourselves,” he adds.
“However, the wind turbine and the space required for its maintenance resulted in some limitations for expansion. With Dematic’s advice, we were able to double our capacity with a fully automated deep-freeze, high-bay storage unit.
“Now, we no longer have to turn down customers who want to temporarily store dozens of pallets at Sivafrost.”
Since Sivafrost also repackages bulk packaging with frozen products for the retail trade, the existing buildings had to be connected to the new deep-freeze storage unit.
“We selected Dematic for this investment project because they were able to recommend and deliver the best solution for our capacity expansion,” Stijn says.
“This solution includes four fully automatic storage and retrieval machines as well as conveyor systems and pallet lifts,” he adds.
“They are connected to our new building via a tunnel with a conveyor system and several pallet lifts.
“Dematic is a specialist in doubling the capacity in the available space, and for this purpose, the six loading docks located below the building were arranged diagonally, and we have made significant operational improvements through this, such as enhance storage capabilities, reduced staff dependency, better traceability, and increased customer satisfaction.”
In addition, Sivafrost’s decision to work with Dematic was due to its knowledge and experience in supplying and automating deep-freeze storage equipment.
“For our company, this is a strategic investment that will secure our future activities,” Stijn says.
“That is why we prefer to work with a supplier with proven practical experience and a good reputation.
“In addition to a considerable increase in capacity, the new automated deep-freeze storage unit also offers new opportunities to improve our logistics processes, while also reducing our dependence on personnel who are required to work in deep-freeze storage environments.”
From a logistics perspective, the new deep-freeze storage unit has helped Sivafrost to further improve the quality of its service to customers.
By opting for complete automation, Sivafrost also reduced the risks of errors and transport damage.
Lastly, Sivafrost has installed additional controls in order to track all pallets more accurately.
“High-precision traceability is an added value that is increasingly important for logistics service providers,” Stijn says.
“We have doubled the number of integrated control functions to check the contour and height of each pallet,” he adds.
“These functions have been supplemented by registration stations for scanning pallet barcodes. All registration steps are automatically recorded by our ERP system. Thanks to this additional scan data, we now have an even more reliable real-time view of our frozen food stock and the status of all customer orders.”
For more information on Dematic, click here.