Hey everyone, we have lots for you to read during the long weekend!

Since Nok and I were both on Vienna’s tour, we’ve decided to share our wonderful experiences with you in two blog posts – Part 1 will cover the visit to REWE (one of the largest supermarket chains in Germany and Austria)’s central warehouse in Biedermannsdorf and the tour to voestalpine Stahlwelt’s steel plant in Linz.

The group had 30 students and 2 faculty members in total. We landed in Vienna airport at around 11am on the 19th of April and headed straight to our first visiting site – REWE.

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Front entrance of REWE’s warehouse

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Presentation from the logistics planning manager – Isabella Handler

We started off with a very informative presentation introducing us to REWE Group and its supply chain functions across Austria. It was a real excitement for us to be so close to a “case study” after we’ve studied so many of them on our course at Cranfield.

The warehouse was opened in 1995 and is equipped with fully automated high-bay storage. It was an eye-opener for us to see every single part of the warehouse operations and different types of equipment, especially after completing a warehouse design assignment very recently. Here are some of the photos during the tour:

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Briefing before the warehouse tour

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Shelving

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Roller conveyor for pallets

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Fully automated storage system

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Conveyor belt for order-picking

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Sortation of orders for despatch

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Group selfie

Overall, the warehouse tour was a great learning experience and we were able to ask many questions regarding the design features and general operations. The first day’s visit finished relatively early so the group could have a good rest after the early flight in the morning. We settled in a hotel in central Vienna during our 4-day tour.

On the second day, we traveled by coach across almost half of Austria to Linz. It was such a nice day and the group was amazed by the fascinating interior as we entered voestalpine Stahlwelt’s visitor centre – the main hall is decorated with dozens of enormous, polished steel bulbs that reflect each other with changing lights.

We took a bus tour through the actual steel works with stops at the blast furnace, the hot-rolling mill and the blank production facility. It was a rare opportunity to get a feel for the sheer size of a major industrial operation involving thousands of tons of material. Having the chance to feel the heat of melted steel flowing into the mill was also very exciting.

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Amazing architecture in voestalpine Stahlwelt

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Presentaion: Supply Chain Management in Voestalpine

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Group photo at the reception

Since photos weren’t allowed to be taken during the tour, we are not able to share any here in the blog. Apart from the plant tour, we also had an insightful presentation on voestalpine’s supply chain management operations and learnt about the organisation’s approach to demand management.

Well, I shall leave you to enjoy the rest of the tour with Nok in Part 2 😉 Bye for now.

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Street view – great weather throughout our 4-day stay in Vienna

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