EDEKA Minden-Hannover, part of Germany’s largest supermarket chain, automates fresh food logistics at its Freienbrink and Lauenau locations.

GRIMSBY, Ontario—Cimcorp, a manufacturer and integrator of turnkey robotic order fulfillment and tire handling solutions, announces that it was selected by EDEKA Minden-Hannover to provide automated intralogistics solutions for its fresh produce handling. As part of Germany’s largest supermarket chain, the regional company EDEKA Minden-Hannover aims to modernize two existing logistics centers with minimal disruption to daily operations and without risking food safety.

Quality and freshness are critical for customers in stores when buying groceries. This means that speed and accuracy in picking are crucial for product quality. EDEKA Minden-Hannover is constantly working to optimize its logistics processes and is thus continuing its sustainability strategy with a view to reducing CO2 emissions, among other things. In order to meet these challenges, EDEKA Minden-Hannover, as the largest grocery retailer in its sales area, continuously invests in the modernization of its logistics.

Arnd Wilde, Logistics Manager at EDEKA Minden-Hannover, said, “The EDEKA slogan is ‘We love food’, which is why our regional company offers a comprehensive range of products in its EDEKA stores, secured by professional quality management: from inexpensive basic items to branded items and selected specialties. Supported by our cooperative guiding principle, we rely on our independent EDEKA merchants and store managers to have a high level of commitment in the joint goods business.”

Wilde emphasizes, “Our daily challenge is to bring fresh fruit and vegetables from the producer to our markets promptly. This is often a race against time, because it usually takes only hours between delivery to our warehouse and delivery to our stores. In Cimcorp, we have found a partner who can provide us with a solution for fully automated order picking of ergonomically packed fruit and vegetable pallets that meet the requirements of our markets – quickly, reliably and cost-effectively. This automation does not mean that jobs are lost, we need our full team to continue to provide the desired logistics service for our salespeople in the future.”

The around 1,200 fruit and vegetable items for the 1,488 supermarkets in the region are freshly picked and delivered daily to the four logistics centers located in Lauenau, Freienbrink, Wiefelstede and Landsberg. In Lauenau, the automation will be installed in the existing logistics center, which has been fully operational since 2014. The volume is higher in Freienbrink, and three fresh food modules in total will be installed there. The modular structure of the automation speeds up the installation: when the first fresh food solution is in operation in the existing facility, the next two will be installed.

Cimcorp, which has specialized in this automation for over 40 years, has already provided similar solutions for the fruit and vegetable sector in other European countries. Together with other EDEKA regions and the Netto Marken-Discount, the regional company EDEKA Minden-Hannover is one of the first German grocery retailers to use this solution.

Jarno Honkanen, Director of Solution Development at Cimcorp, said, “We’ve provided reliable solutions for rapid order fulfillment for many years, thereby optimizing the shelf life of perishable products. The advantage for customers is that they receive their fresh products faster and that they stay fresh longer in the household. When fully operational, the modularity guarantees the maximum functionality of the system through redundancy. The individual module can be emptied – for example during cleaning – without interrupting the entire flow of materials in the logistics center. Overhead gantry robots handle food crates that are stacked on the floor – no need for an expensive shelving system. This is also essential for food safety. During cleaning, crates can be moved to another module or stacked under the gantry robot for easy cleaning, ensuring a high standard of hygiene.”

About EDEKA Minden-Hannover
The foundation stone of EDEKA Minden-Hannover – EDEKA Minden eG – was laid in Minden in 1920 as a cooperative association of independent merchants. In 2020 the cooperative celebrated its 100th anniversary. With a turnover of 9.79 billion euros and around 73,800 employees including the independent retail trade, EDEKA Minden-Hannover is the regional company with the highest turnover in the cooperatively organized EDEKA network. EDEKA Minden eG currently has 566 cooperative members. The business area extends from the Dutch to the Polish border, it includes part of East Westphalia-Lippe, almost entirely Lower Saxony, Bremen, Saxony-Anhalt, Berlin and Brandenburg. Two thirds of the 1,488 stores are owned by independent EDEKA retailers. In addition, five production companies for bread and baked goods (Schäfer’s) as well as two production companies for meat and sausage products (farms) and one production company for fresh fish and fish products (Hagenah) belong to the group of companies.

About Cimcorp 
Cimcorp Group—part of Murata Machinery, Ltd. (Muratec)—is a leading global supplier of turnkey automation for intralogistics, using advanced robotics, material handling and software technologies. As well as being a manufacturer and integrator of pioneering material handling systems for the tire industry, Cimcorp has developed unique robotic solutions for order fulfillment and storage for the food & beverage, retail, e-commerce, fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) and postal services sectors. Together with its parent company, Cimcorp boasts a worldwide network of service locations. Designed to reduce operating costs, ensure traceability and improve efficiency, these systems are used within manufacturing and distribution centers in over 40 countries across six continents. For more information, visit http://www.cimcorp.com