Bergfreunde and Element Logic in the AutoStore warehouse

E-commerce player Bergfreunde pursues sustainability goals with intralogistics solutions from Element Logic

Sustainability is a top priority for the German company Bergfreunde. This was one of the main reasons why they decided to invest in an AutoStore system in 2016. The AutoStore, which was originally designed for a size of 1.800 m², has meanwhile been expanded nine times by the intralogistics expert Element Logic to reach its current size of 4.386 m².

Bergfreunde offer clothing, shoes, outdoor equipment, climbing gear and other special equipment to customers all over Europe. In 2019, the online retailer generated sales of more than 100 million euros. In order to keep pace with the increasing demands in the current situation and to meet their customers’ needs and expectations, Bergfreunde commissioned Element Logic with a total of 3 extensions in 2020. With the gradual enlargement of the AutoStore grid, not only space for additional bins was created, but also more ports and robots were added to further increase system performance.

“With our tremendous growth we are dependent on a flexible and efficient storage system, which is why Bergfreunde has chosen AutoStore. Scalability, space efficiency and high performance were decisive factors for us. All our expectations on AutoStore and Element Logic have been more than fulfilled and we never regretted our decision”, says Ronny Höhn, Managing Director at Bergfreunde.

After completion of the current expansion, Bergfreunde`s AutoStore system will contain 145.000 bins, 125 robots and 31 erconomically optimized workstations – so-called carousel ports.

„The expansion of our AutoStore system enables us to handle a lot more logistics performance on our existing floor space, without having to add three or four times more building space“, says Thomas Klein, Logistics Manager at Bergfreunde.

At Bergfreunde’s warehouse, the new AutoStore Carousel Port 3.0 has already been installed, which is significantly more ergonomic than the previous version. As a general contractor, Element Logic did not only care about the seamless integration of additional AutoStore components, but also integrated conveyor technology with own control technology into the overall system. This conveyor technology is currently being more than doubled as part of an ongoing expansion project. Further, there will be additional automatic carton erectors, the latest labeling technology and state-of-the-art packaging machines, which optimally reduce the volume of all carton boxes. In total, this corresponds to 2.300 m of additional cardboard conveyor technology. This means that all areas are redundantly set up on a total hall area of 10.800 m².

conveyor technology in AutoStore warehouse
As part of the current expansion, Bergfreunde will receive, among other things, 2.300 m of additional cardboard conveyor technology.

Pursues sustainability goals

With regard to sustainability, one of the goals that Bergfreunde have set themselves is to reduce CO2 emissions per package by 30% until 2022. AutoStore by Element Logic makes a valuable contribution to achieving this goal, since it requires just a fraction of the energy consumed by classic automated storage and retrieval systems. In fact, ten AutoStore robots use the same level of energy as one vacuum cleaner, and every time a robot is lowering a bin or reducing its speed, energy is returned to the battery. Due to its compact design, AutoStore also doesn`t require aisles, resulting in less space that needs to be illuminated. This is why Bergfreunde only illuminate 30% of their hall, which has a positive effect on their power consumption and emissions.

AutoStore robots moving
After completion of the current expansion, the AutoStore system at Bergfreunde will contain 145.000 bins, 125 robots and 31 ergonomically optimized workstations.

„Element Logic supported us in the planning and implementation of sustainable warehouse logistics with their many years of experience, which goes far beyond AutoStore“, continues Thomas Klein.

As part of the current expansion, Bergfreunde will also get the Logopak Eco-Labeler, a revolutionary labeling system that does not need a base carrier under the labels and thus produces significantly less waste.

In addition, energy- and space-efficient B + sealing machines will ensure that the carton volume is reduced by up to 70 percent, so that less loading space is required. Through this measure, the transport volume can be reduced by 30 percent, which corresponds to around 500 truck journeys per year. By completely dispensing with pneumatics, even more energy will be saved and the noise level at the workstations will be reduced significantly.

Together with Element Logic, Bergfreunde have succeeded in taking another step towards (more) sustainability and at the same time increased their order picking efficiency by more than 500%. In addition, the lead time from order placement until handover to the sender has been reduced to less than 3 hours.

On peak days, the company is now able to process more than 15.000 orders with two shifts. The entire system is designed to allow even more expansions in terms of performance and storage capacity, and thus offers the flexibility which is mandatory for the future growth of Bergfreunde.

Facts and figures:

  • Footprint of AutoStore: 4.386 m²
  • 125 AutoStore robots
  • 145.000 storage bins
  • 31 carousel ports

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