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Automated logistics for organic pioneer Rapunzel

Rapunzel, a Bavarian organic food company, has selected Swisslog to implement an automated pallet warehouse at its headquarters in Legau, Germany. The new building will expand Rapunzel's raw material logistics capacities and increase productivity for its dry goods range. Driverless, mobile vehicles and conveyor technology for pallets are a central component of the new, state-of-the-art raw materials warehouse.

Buchs/Dortmund, 18 August 2021 – Business is going well for Rapunzel Naturkost GmbH, German organic pioneer in the production and sale of organic vegetarian food. “Consumers are increasingly relying on organically grown products that are manufactured under fair conditions,” says Stefan Schmaus, Head of Logistics at Rapunzel, adding, “That has given us a gratifying increase in sales of ten percent per year over the past three years."

The organic food company has been growing for some time and in recent years, it has built up and expanded its production and logistics systems accordingly. Now, Swisslog is developing a new automated high-bay pallet warehouse for raw materials and packaging, complete with conveyor technology and a fleet of driverless transport systems (AGV) at Rapunzel’s Bavarian headquarters.

The start of productive use of the plant is planned for the 1st quarter of 2023. "We are very pleased that Rapunzel is once again placing its trust in us," says Jens Schmale, Head of Swisslog’s EMEA region. “It truly highlights our extensive expertise in developing flexible, tailor-made automation for the food industry.

The new high-bay warehouse, the second Swisslog project for Rapunzel, is extremely energy-efficient.

Automated high-bay warehouse with 9,300 storage spaces

“Swisslog was the first choice for us,” explains Stefan Schmaus, Logistics Manager at Rapunzel. “The company has a lot of experience in the area of food logistics. Joint projects from the past have also shown that we can rely on Swisslog in every respect: on planning know-how, on verbal commitments as well as precise and punctual execution of the trades - even during the pandemic - and on reliable service in the implementation phase.”

“The interpersonal element is also important to us, it just has to fit when you implement such projects," says Stefan Schmaus and added "With a good logistics system, you may not win new customers, but with poor logistics performance you are more likely to lose customers."

The intralogistics specialist built an automated pallet and picking warehouse for the organic manufacturer at the Bad Grönenbach location in 2020. The expansion now being implemented in Legau includes a high-bay warehouse with around 9,300 spaces for euro and industrial pallets, has 4 aisles and is equipped with Swisslog Vectura storage and retrieval cranes. Approx. 450 meters of automatic Swisslog ProMove conveyor technology are planned for the boundary of the facility. The new building is adjacent to an existing Rapunzel facility, with transfers between the two buildings using an automated guided vehicle system.

High availability requirements

Like the previous orders, the collaboration with Rapunzel initially started with a detailed concept study. The inventory data was first thoroughly analyzed by Swisslog, and the on-site situation recorded in a joint workshop.

The proposed solution was developed step by step together with the customer. Rapunzel's current storage volume is around 9,000 pallet spaces on a total usable area of 7,500 square meters. "Of these, 95 percent are already being used to capacity," says Schmaus, head of logistics, and happily adds: "The current expansion equips us for the future, as the automated approach provides us with the on-time delivery of all raw materials requirements."

About Swisslog

Swisslog delivers data-driven & robotic solutions for your logistics automation alongside reliable, modular service concepts. Collaborating with forward-thinking companies, we are committed to setting new standards in warehouse automation to provide future-proof products and solutions. As part of the KUKA Group, our customers trust the competence of our passionate employees – more than 14,000 people working across the globe.

www.swisslog.com & www.kuka.com