Gigantic freezer

In July 2021, Conditorei Coppenrath & Wiese put its new deep-freeze high-bay warehouse into operation.

Designed as a MUTLIFLEX pallet shuttle system with 12 storage levels and 20,000 pallet bays, the space-saving system facilitates flexible shuttle operation. With 200 double cycles per hour, the deep-freeze warehouse also ensures very high pallet turnover.


Conditorei Coppenrath & Wiese (CCW) produces frozen pastry products as well as rolls and dessert specialties in Mettingen, Germany. The leading manufacturer of frozen bakery products on the German market generated sales of around 440 million euros in 2020. Frozen products are manufactured, packaged and palletized on more than 25 production lines in Mettingen. With automatic loading and unloading, the finished pallets are then transported by shuttle truck to the logistics center in Osnabrück-Atter, which is about 15 km (9 miles) away. Since the positive business development resulted in massive expansion of production capacities, capacity bottlenecks had to be eliminated at the logistics site. Therefore, the five existing deep-freeze high-bay warehouses were supplemented with a new facility, internally referred to as “deep-freeze high-bay warehouse 6” (abbreviated as TK-HRL 6 for “Tiefkühl-Hochregallager 6”).



In a preliminary study, it was determined that the new facility would need a higher pallet bay capacity than the previously used systems with storage and retrieval machines (SRM) and single-bay access. The final design had to consider architectural possibilities and the specified dimensions from the development plan. The DAMBACH pallet shuttle system was determined to be the best solution for the high storage capacity and dynamics.


General contractor MFI GmbH, Benningen, was commissioned to build the deep-freeze high-bay warehouse from the ground up. MFI also acted as the system integrator and relied on DAMBACH warehouse and conveyor technology. In addition to the pallet shuttle system, DAMBACH also supplied the matching pallet conveyor technology and vertical conveyors.


The final design was a 12-level, oxygen-reduced, MULTIFLEX deep-freeze high-bay warehouse tempered to -25 °C (-13 °F). It will store Euro-pallets and industrial pallets. Andreas Beckmann, Head of Engineering & Building Services at Conditorei Coppenrath & Wiese, explains that the new deep-freeze high-bay warehouse is roughly 85 m long, 34 m wide, and 33 m high (279x112x108 ft). With 20,000 pallet bays, it offers 5,000 more bays than the existing warehouse of the same size, which is, however, served by SRM.


DAMBACH Lagersysteme has long-standing, extensive expertise, according to sales manager Jörg Marx: “We have more than 45 years of experience in warehouse automation, which we incorporate into all projects. The DAMBACH COMPACT SHUTTLE has already been deployed more than 500 times, even under the harshest conditions in 24-hour operation.” The products and systems of both companies are very well suited for use in deep-freeze environments. “All DAMBACH products, without exception, are designed for use in deep-freeze use and are thoroughly tested for such harsh requirements,” emphasizes Jörg Marx. “Necessary adjustments were ultimately only required with regard to the building structure of the deep-freeze high-bay warehouse, which we were able to implement very easily thanks to the adaptive modular structure of our products. In line with our motto ‘Keep it simple’, we keep product diversity as low as possible, which simultaneously increases flexibility.”


The special requirements for the system included the highest possible storage density, which had to be achieved despite the limited space of just under 3,000 m² (~32,300 ft²) and the specified building structure. Other requirements included high storage performance with 200 storage and retrieval operations per hour as well as high availability. Therefore, the deep-freeze high-bay warehouse is designed like a silo as a channel storage system with shuttle vehicles on each shelf level. A storage level is symmetrically divided by the CARRIER and its rail. 52 channels are installed on the right and left sides of the CARRIER, each of which can accommodate 16 Euro-pallets. Thus, the storage capacity per level is 1,664 Euro-pallets and for the entire high-bay warehouse 19,968 pallets.


„Unbeatably high storage density of the MULTIFLEX system“


In a tight space like this, neither the high storage performance nor the large capacity and storage density could have been realized with a conventional SRM-operated high-bay warehouse, as confirmed by the experts from DAMBACH Lagersysteme. “The required throughput in connection with the available installation space was a key factor in picking the MULTIFLEX solution, which consists of the CARRIERS, the shuttles, and the integrated control system,” says Jörg Marx. For the output of roughly 200 double cycles per hour, the expert emphasizes that “at least six SRMs would otherwise have been required”. Furthermore, the high storage density of the MULTIFLEX warehouse with the pallet shuttle system is “unbeatable”. The high-bay warehouse volume to be cooled is also greatly reduced with the space-saving shuttle solution, resulting in significant energy savings from the outset. Additional savings are attributable to the excellent power-to-weight ratio of the carriers with shuttles: While “large SRMs weigh several metric tons, our vehicles (carrier and shuttle) weigh 1,000 kg and can still transport 1,000 kg loads,” emphasizes Marx.


200 storage and retrieval operations per hour


The CARRIERS are operated via power rails, and each of them carry a shuttle that establishes the connection to the respective channel. Each of the autonomous shuttles can pick up pallets weighing up to 1,000 kg. Jörg Marx explains how the carrier and shuttle interact in the multi-level channel warehouse of the MULTIFLEX system: “The carrier piggybacks the shuttle to the desired channel, the shuttle enters the channel independently, picks up or drops off a pallet, and returns to the CARRIER. The latter travels with the shuttle and pallet to the LIFT, which transports the pallet to the desired level.” The 12 storage levels are connected via two storage lifts and two retrieval lifts. These highly dynamic systems are the central element of the pre-storage area and enable the high throughput of 400 warehouse movements per hour. Each pair of lifts is operated via an axle system, alternately feeding the regenerative energy to each other.


Incoming goods are handled by a previously commissioned truck shuttle that transports the products manufactured in Mettingen to the logistics center. A traffic light system signals the driver that automatic unloading is possible. When it starts, an airlock in the deep-freeze pre-storage area opens automatically and the directly connected conveyor system picks up the complete load of the docked truck, consisting of two rows of 17 pallets each. This automated process saves a lot of time. Four trucks can be unloaded per hour, which corresponds to an hourly goods receipt of 136 pallets.


All these complex, perfectly organized intralogistics processes form the prerequisite for professional, precisely timed delivery of Coppenrath & Wiese’s coveted products to the customer.


You can find the video of this exciting project here: