16 Dec Van der Plas Flowers and Plants opt for VanRiet intralogistics system
Van der Plas Flowers and Plants opt for VanRiet intralogistics system
VanRiet Material Handling Systems has developed an extensive transport and sorting system which has been implemented at Van der Plas flowers and plants. The new system has fully automated the internal transport of flowers and plants, and the plant totes are automatically emptied and stacked using a special conveyor belt for plant totes.
Despite the fact that the Van der Plas went through a period of strong growth, up to a year ago the flowers and plants were still sorted manually. Machiel van der Bent, business process engineer at Van der Plas, explains that for some time the company had been looking for a solution to manage their growth. Following the company’s decision to move to larger premises, the search for a solution became urgent. In parallel with this move, the company chose to collaborate with VanRiet in optimizing the internal process through implementing automated transport and sorting. “VanRiet is a well-known name in the horticulture industry. Through our own network, and following a number of favourable references, we made contact with the system integrator,” says Van der Bent. “Together, we developed a solution that would enable us to work a great deal more efficiently, and one that could also handle our future growth.”
The intralogistics process consists of four double-sided packing positions with 24 to 32 people manually filling the boxes with flowers and plants. A driven conveyor belt is used to ensure that the filled boxes converge on the central collection line, where the boxes are scanned. Next, the IQ-Grid, an innovative wheel-sorting solution, determines whether the box should be transported through the box strapper, to arrive once again at the central collection line. Eventually, all the boxes are transported to the HC Sorter, an advanced sorting solution that sends 1,250 boxes per hour to the correct outlet. After the boxes have been packed, the conveyor takes the empty flower totes to the automatic tote handling system, which empties and stacks 2,000 flower totes per hour.
The automated process at Van der Plas makes the entire intralogistics process considerably less error-prone, enabling the flower wholesaler to employ less manpower to process a higher capacity. VanRiet takes care of maintaining the system. An engineer checks the installed system, and replaces any parts on a preventative basis to reduce the risk of downtime.