Alstef Group supports Pierre Martinet's growth - Alstef Group

Pierre Martinet has been producing and selling ready-to-eat salads since 1968. As a market leader, the company decided to carry out a major upgrading project within its plant in La Selle-sur-le-Bied, France. It called on Alstef Group to design and install a brand-new intralogistics system capable of handling the increase in flows, thanks to a complete solution including automated storage and flow management.

A tailor-made automated solution

The collaboration between Alstef Group and Pierre Martinet began in 2007, with the deployment of Alstef Group’s stock management software in the automated warehouse, replacing the existing software.

Virginie Vaché, Investment Manager for Pierre Martinet, comments: “Following this first successful experience, both in terms of implementation and technical solution, and of the relationship built over the years between our IT teams, it was natural for us to approach Alstef Group to modernize and increase our storage capacity. The technical and business solutions they offered were the most relevant.” 

The new automated storage system includes two latest-generation stacker cranes operating in regulated temperature at +3°C, and meets a dual objective. Firstly, to double the warehouse’s storage capacity, by decommissioning the existing, obsolete stacker crane and installing two new ones, to reach a capacity of 2,000 pallets. Secondly, to optimize the flows of goods in and out of the warehouse, by multiplying the number of possible outlets for loads. 

To deal with the obsolete conveyor network, Alstef Group replaced the existing conveyors connecting the warehouse to the logistics and production areas, with a system fitted to the future flow and control challenges of the installation. To this end, Alstef Group designed a conveyor network to standardize the overall management of the installation, while optimizing maintenance and control supervision for the entire factory. The network also integrates a new banding machine, enabling automated pallet labeling at the banding machine exit. 

This first phase of the project, commissioned in early 2023, will soon be followed by the replacement of the shuttle transferring pallets of finished products from the palletizer. In order to absorb the increase in production output, a double-space shuttle has been chosen. Specially designed to incorporate all the safety features required for strong cohabitation with operators in the production area, the shuttle will handle up to 80 pallets per hour.

The entire system is managed by the latest version of the control software developed by Alstef Group, taking into account the site’s new operating functionalities.

 

A strong partnership with a successful commissioning

Commissioning was successfully completed, meeting all the deadlines before Pierre Martinet’s busy spring season. This achievement bears witness to the rigorous planning and efficient execution made possible by the use of emulation during the design phase. The use of simulation and testing tools for the system as a whole optimized system reliability and guarantee rapid operational availability.

“This new system has enabled us to deal with the obsolescence of the existing equipment, thus making the operation and performance of our system more reliable, to develop and push forward the interfacing with our ERP systems, and to increase flow capacity. In short, this new system is an effective support for the development of our business”, confirms Virginie Vaché.

The collaboration and involvement of the Pierre Martinet and Alstef Group teams contributed significantly to the success of this commissioning, with no production stoppages.

Virginie Vaché adds: “Both our teams worked on the basis of a true partnership, both in the design and implementation phases. This enabled us to meet our initial commitments, while guaranteeing the continuity of our business.”