With five locations across Canada and a combined total of 42 Million cubic feet of storage, Conestoga Cold Storage has both the warehousing and distribution of cold and frozen foods down to a science.
The SEW United Crew visited Conestoga’s Mississauga facility and met with Vice President Gavin Sargeant, and Siegfried Giebat, electrical project manager, to learn more about what is involved in operating a successful high-volume cold storage operation.
In conversation with the SEW United Crew Giebat explains “Storage and distribution of cold and frozen foods is definitely on the rise—we store and ship all types of food products ranging from meats to baked goods for some of Canada’s largest food brands. With the increased demand, we are continually challenged to scale our operations without compromising the quality or service our customers expect. Our customers put a lot of trust in what we do; we are held accountable for storing and distributing goods that require special attention, and being just a few degrees off can have serious implications.”
Sargeant adds, "There is very little—if any—margin for error, and this is why many of our applications are engineered and built in-house. Most of our systems are the result of years of innovation and experience summed into our own proprietary applications that focus heavily on efficiency and reliability.
We are firm believers in fostering strong relationships with experts in fields beyond our own. In 2012 we commissioned a German OEM to manufacture our automated storage and retrieval cranes using only SEW-Eurodrive products. These cranes were special because of MXR regenerative power supply, a unique feature on SEW Eurodrive’s multi-axis servo inverter, MOVIAXIS®.
Our choice to use SEW-Eurodrive’s MOVIAXIS® for our ASR cranes was clear because it synchronizes the multiple servo gear motors while simultaneously recovers regenerative energy while the crane descends and brakes. This process redistributes the energy that would otherwise dissipate into our coolers resulting in a reusable energy source. The integration of this new and highly sophisticated system, aligned perfectly with our operational objectives and environmental best practices.
As with any new technology, there were definitely some challenges in the earlier stages of integration. Our conversations got a little heated at times, mainly because our trust was put into the hands of another company, something that was outside our comfort zone. However, we were confident knowing SEW-Eurodrive had a solid reputation for post-sales support and would not let us down.
Throughout the integration process, we were pleased to know that support was not far. We connected with the SEW-Eurodrive Canada office, which assigned Konrad Kurylo and Shane Carnegie to the project. Konrad, Shane and their global network of Engineers (the folks who actually design this technology) were able to effectively troubleshoot all outstanding issues.
Upon completion of this project and witnessing immediate results, we made the decision to standardize on SEW-Eurodrive’s MOVIAXIS® with regenerative MXR module on all our cranes, throughout our Canadian locations. It was not only the performance of the products that impressed us, it was knowing that we partnered with a group of experts that were reliable, knowledgeable and cared about our business. Our plans to expand and upgrade our current applications will most definitely include the products and people at SEW-Eurodrive.”