Order: Unitechnik realizes new logistics center for Hela

Logistical expertise meets culinary tradition: In cooperation with the system provider Unitechnik, the spice manufacturer Hela is modernizing its warehouse processes at the Ahrensburg site. In the future, a new logistics system will automate the picking and shipping of the quality products. Unitechnik accompanies the entire process from the planning of the concept to the implementation of the software systems to the commissioning of the plant. The warehouse management software UniWare takes over the control of the material flow.

In addition to spices, sauces and marinades, Hela Gewürzwerk Hermann Laue GmbH is especially known for its curry spiced ketchup. Currently, the product range comprises more than 4,000 different items, which are produced at the Ahrensburg site, stored on site and finally delivered to more than 60 countries. As part of the "Hela 2025" program, the manufacturer wants to modernize and expand its existing plant structure. In order to make the logistics processes at the site leaner and more efficient in this context, Hela has decided to build a highly scalable and flexible logistics center. The aim is to improve picking quality, increase shipping performance and quality, and take account of existing and future market developments - in particular increasingly small-scale picking. In addition, an existing high-bay warehouse is to be modernized and integrated into the new facility.

Flexible and scalable solution desired

The center will be built on a total of 7,800 m² in silo design. It includes a 4-aisle and two 3-aisle high-bay warehouses for Euro pallets and H1 hygiene pallets, as well as a 2-aisle automated small parts warehouse for totes with a total of 44 shuttles. This also includes a 4,200 m² logistics hall for picking and shipping. For this, Unitechnik provides the required tote and pallet conveyor technology as well as initially six expandable workstations for carton picking and two expandable workstations for pallet picking. Since Unitechnik completed the planning in April 2020, the new logistics center with the high-bay silo is currently being built.

Effort for order picking greatly reduced
"The big challenge was to map our large range in a logistics center. We not only supply the wholesale trade with pallets, but also small companies that place correspondingly manageable orders. Unitechnik convincingly represented this balance in the planning," says Markus Laue, partner at Hela.

The focus of the planning was the question of how to map the various material flows in the best possible way in the future. On the basis of a comprehensive data analysis, Unitechnik worked out the necessary process optimizations together with Hela. Here, the change of the picking method to the goods-to-person principle was particularly important. On the basis of the construction area with environmental restrictions specified by the plant planning department, Unitechnik created layout designs, proposed a manufacturer-independent selection of technical components, and visualized the future material flow with the help of a simulation model. The logistics processes are controlled by means of Unitechnik's UniWare warehouse management system. The close connection to production is ensured via an interface to Hela's SAP system.