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traceNET and the automated high-bay warehouse at Gemüsebau Steiner

"On the one hand we have more storage space, on the other hand everything is automated now"

Since last year, a high-bay warehouse - integrated into the traceNET ERP system - optimizes the processes of the Upper Bavarian vegetable producer Steiner. The project was set up in 6 months, through an Austrian-German-Dutch cooperation. Sebastian Gruttauer, the Operations Manager for Packaging & Logistics at Gemüsebau Steiner, and Andreas Reiterer, Head of Consulting at TraceNET, are looking back on the challenges and the renewed cooperation.

Andreas Reiterer (l) and Sebastian Gruttauer

How did the cooperation between activeIT and KOAT work out?
Gruttauer: "Communication between activeIT and KOAT proved to be a bit of a challenge initially, as they had different approaches. It was a bit difficult for us at the beginning to find the best solution that works for everyone. Nevertheless, after some initial connection problems, the integration of traceNET worked out very well. The course of the project was by and large as planned and in some places even easier than expected."

Reiterer: "The project itself was very exciting - an integration of a third-party system always presents a challenge. From my point of view, there were two of them here - on the one hand, the joint definition of how the interaction between traceNET and KOAT should look and be integrated into Steiner's processes, and on the other hand, the communication with KOAT. Here, however, we were able to draw on the experience of Mr. Corne Bol from KOAT, as he has already implemented several projects of this kind. Regarding the initial connection problems: The reason was the communication of the PLC with our server service - here we had to do some analysis during operation to find the cause of the problem. In cooperation with Mr. Gruttauer, however, this was solved as well."

What has improved as a result of the automation?
Gruttauer: "The high-bay warehouse offers several advantages. On the one hand, we have more storage space, and on the other hand, everything is automated now. The harvest is reliably registered and booked into the high-bay warehouse via a terminal. There is a function there that shows how many kilograms of which tomato variety are stored and how old the oldest product is. It's top-notch because I can see exactly what's there."

How has the work process changed as a result of the integration in traceNET?
Gruttauer: "On the one hand, the FIFO principle is secured by the integration. On the other hand, there is an immense reduction in workload for our employees. In the past, the crates with the tomatoes had to be brought onto the packaging line by hand - an extremely strenuous job. Since the integration, this has been done by a gripper. In addition, everything is much clearer and I can see what's there with one click. The danger of losing track, i.e. overlooking goods and booking them in incorrectly, has thus been eliminated."

What is on the agenda for 2022 and what is your summary of the project?
Gruttauer: "For the extent of the complexity of this project, there were few problems immediately after integration, with the exception of disconnections. Otherwise, everything worked well. Andreas Reiterer, Head of Consulting at traceNET, also gave me great advice when the whole concept for communication was being developed. I trusted him a lot, and rightly so!"

Reiterer: (laughs) "Thank you for your trust. It shows that the cooperation works great and that's what's most important!"

Gruttauer: "In retrospect, it would not have been necessary to design the communication so comprehensively right from the start, since we did not use all the building blocks from the beginning. This year, the last part of the communication is definitely on the agenda. Namely, that the goods are ordered from traceNET ProductionClient. At the moment, we still have a solution from KOAT here."

Reiterer: "My summary is that the cooperation with Mr. Gruttauer was - as always - very good. Also there was always the effort to push the project ahead at KOAT and to bring it to a good conclusion. It was a good Austrian-German-Dutch cooperation. I think it's always exciting to see what new ideas our customers have and how a solution is then found together."

For more information:
Gemüsebau Steiner
Edt 8
84558 Kirchweidach
Tel.: +49 86 23 / 98 50 6 - 0  

Active IT GmbH 

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