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Swisslog reference, Coop Norway

Coop Faghandel achieves impressive productivity increase with Swisslog automation

In 2018, Coop Norway's specialist retail division, Coop Faghandel, decided to build a new automated logistics center in the existing central warehouse at Langhus outside Oslo. The result is a major productivity boost and a Swisslog automated facility that can efficiently and automatically handle palletized goods and cartons, as well as the growing e-commerce business.

Swisslog reference, Coop Norway

More than twenty years of continuous growth eventually culminated in a capacity shortage. "We needed to increase our warehouse capacity, flexibility and efficiency," explains Magnus Røine, Logistics Director at Coop Faghandel.

The existing 37,000 square meter central warehouse was built in 1999. It was then one of the largest warehouses in Norway, but by 2015 it had become both too small and outdated.

“That's when we started the project to evaluate different alternative warehouse solutions. We visited many European retailers and realized that their approach with specialized warehouses for pallets, cartons and e-commerce would not work in a market with 5.4 million inhabitants," Magnus explains.

Instead, a solution was chosen in which the existing warehouse at Langhus was expanded by 10,000 square meters and automated to handle palletized goods and cartons efficiently, in addition to increased e-commerce. Swisslog was chosen as the partner for the automated warehouse.

“Swisslog's concept matched our needs for cost efficiency, flexibility, and scalability. The solution can handle all our different logistics flows, both to stores and e-commerce customers, in a well-thought-out way," Magnus explains.

Swisslog reference, Coop Norway

Automation and manual handling

The automation solution consists of an automated high bay warehouse for pallets and light goods, transport systems, and picking stations where automation is combined with manual handling.

"The flexible design of the facility is a prerequisite for being able to handle the many different non-food products we have in our range, many of which are difficult to handle with automation," Magnus emphasizes.

"Formidable increase in productivity"

Swisslog also takes responsibility for the technical operation and maintenance of the facility. Five Swisslog-employed technicians work in two shifts to service, troubleshoot and solve problems

“The technicians are highly valued and competent. They have already become part of our team," says Magnus, emphasizing that good cooperation is as important as the quality and performance of the technical solutions.

At the time of writing, the post-analyses of the project are not yet complete, but capacity has increased significantly, and costs have been reduced considerably.

“Since we started using the new facility in 2021, productivity has increased by as much as 60 per cent. In the handling of small goods, we've seen a productivity improvement of around 150 per cent, which is a tremendous increase," says Magnus with a big smile.

Swisslog reference, Coop Norway

Dive deeper into the project

Click below for more details about our automated solution for Coop.

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