Whether fresh variety from domestic fields or fruity exotics from overseas: In its organics logistics center Bivano turns over about 1,500 tons of fruit and vegetables from controlled cultivation each month. Every day, approximately 100 employees of this service provider are tasked with repackaging the delivered merchandise into commercial sizes before being delivered Europe-wide to the food trade. The Bizerba software BRAIN2 Portion_Control helps to ensure quality and speed in this process. These are only two of its practical functions
The performance spectrum in the Europe-wide unique and highly modern logistics centrum is broad: Employees procure, declare and store organic fruit and vegetables. Also, individual refining, ripening, and commissioning are part of their tasks. Bivano is a subsidiary of the Böhmer group of companies. Founded in 2014, it supplements the portfolio of the long-established company with products from purely organic cultivation. «We are committed to constantly ensuring the high quality and safety of the products. We are the link between producer and trade. Quality and customer satisfaction are our top priorities. We cannot accept compromises», explains Florian Floßdorf, Bivano warehouse manager.
Therefore, Bivano attaches great importance to long-term relationships and proximity to their producers. Optimized workflows are of particular importance in the fresh produce area. Ideal, temperature-controlled storage conditions, short storage periods, and quality control of the goods before being delivered are factors for success.
Quality correctly timed
For a long time, Bivano has been using simple stainless steel worktables to package fruit and vegetables. «Our employees transported the goods over there and packaged them. The weighing station was located somewhere else. From an ergonomic standpoint, this was not ideal for our staff. Portioning also took far too long», remembers Florian Floßdorf. «Under these circumstances, it was hard for us to evaluate how efficiently our staff works. As a modern service provider, we committed ourselves to freshness. We are always looking for new possibilities to enhance workflows and to work on quality assurance in a sustainable and conscious manner.»
A portioning system with an integrated scale and price labeling should meet this goal. Ten new workstations were planned where staff could efficiently process individual orders at a specified cycle time. Several Bivano partners recommended the BIZERBA software BRAIN2 Portion_Control. Floßdorf and his team also considered quotations from other providers. Finally, Bivano decided on a Bizerba system solution. The modules: Bizerba load receptors, weighing terminals, and the BRAIN2 Portion_Control software. Easy installation and convenient handling were decisive for the solution from the Swabian traditional group of companies.
A Bizerba specialist assisted during the start-up of the ten portioning workstations. These workstations were set up within a few hours as hardware adjustments were not necessary. «Also in this aspect, Bizerba was impressive from the beginning. We received a self-sufficient system ‚out of the box which can be flexibly used for all types of produce», summarizes Floßdorf.
Precise and autonomous weighing
Easy handling was another advantage for Floßdorf: Many processes mostly run autonomously on the device without staff pressing a button after each unit or actuating a foot-operated button as is the case with products from many other manufacturers. The high-protection type IP68 meets Bivano‘s need for a hygienic production environment. Because the Bizerba terminal works in dry and in wet areas.
When filling the smaller boxes an optical traffic light logic supports the staff: Red, yellow and green bars indicate if the target weight was reached or if there was a giveaway. Once the target weight is reached, the scale needs approximately one second to become stable. Required data such as tare, target and maximum weight, product description, and mandatory information is centrally stored on the terminal via the software BRAIN2 Portion_Control.
At the same time, each weighing and labeling process is centrally recorded in a database. This allows comparison between individual workstations. «For each process, we stipulate a target performance which we think can be achieved well», explains Floßdorf.
Safe freshness quality
This networked solution is ideal for freshness control of fruit and vegetable trays. Employees can efficiently open individual trays in order to remove and replace spoiled goods. This process is of particular interest if individual batches are returned from supermarkets. Re-sorting is sometimes also necessary if goods were stored over the weekend and are to be supplied on Monday. «Due to the different colors it is relatively easy for the staff to quickly reach the desired target weight in the packages», explains Floßdorf.
For Bivano, the investment in a Bizerba system has paid off. «Our staff now works much faster, more conveniently, and ergonomically», reports Floßdorf. «In addition, we have a current overview on the utilization of the system at any time and considerably increase our efficiency.»