One of Switzerland's biggest milk powder and baby nutrition factories is situated in Sulgen. HOCHDORF Swiss Nutrition AG can process up to 1.5 million kilograms of fresh milk and whey per day. HOCHDORF Group employs approximately 680 employees and sells its products worldwide to over 90 countries.
For the storage of semi-finished and finished goods, of additives and packaging material, the company needed additional storage space at the production site in Sulgen. In order to connect the production lines to the new warehouse building, Gilgen Logistics was commissioned in 2013 for a direction-separated pallet conveyor system with a connecting tunnel. The contract also included five lift systems for pallets, a pallet stretcher, the warehouse management system, as well as the truck loading stations and an outdoor scissor lift.
In order to ensure the production capacity, the client was planning a fully automated high-bay warehouse in 2015, in which all materials are to be managed predominantly for the Sulgen plant. In a first step, Gilgen Logistics was entrusted with the planning order for the new warehouse. This included the planning of the steel construction, roof and wall, as well as the layout of the entire logistics system. In the second step, Gilgen was commissioned as general contractor for this turnkey, automated high bay warehouse with the entire PLC control, warehouse management system, visualization and truck docking stations.
"A modern high-bay warehouse, a new filling line and an additional tower for the production of baby nutrition were built. With this investment, Hochdorf tripled the production capacity of milk-based baby nutrition and created 80 new jobs. With this investment in Sulgen, we can produce baby nutrition for about 1.4 million babies per day », says Christoph Peternell, COO of the HOCHDORF Group. They invested around 90 million Swiss francs in the Sulgen plant from 2016 to 2018. The focus in the logistics planning was on the stable operation of the entire system 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
The high-bay warehouse with incoming and outgoing goods had to be built in connection with the hall 16, which was built in 2015. Furthermore, the new canning line in the upper and lower levels in hall 10 had to be integrated in the logistics system and in the warehouse. The warehouse system and the conveyor systems can transport four different sized load carriers, from the Euro pallet, pallet boxes on Euro pallets, industrial pallets, as well as special pallets with different load heights up to 2.200 mm. The individual conveyor elements must comply with the qualified regulations of the Hygienic Design, as well as be installed in hygienic or hygienic + qualified rooms.
The construction of the roof and façade was designed for operation in an oxygen-reduced environment. The integral test had to take place with smoke development, so that it can be optically determined exactly where the discharge takes place and where the leaks are. The fully automated high bay warehouse includes four stacker cranes with double load handling system for double deep in / out storage.
The high-bay warehouse has space for over 9.900 pallet places. The masts have a height of 30 m and the load-handling device has a load capacity of 3.000 kg. To reduce the air exchange between the environment and the inertised area of the high-bay warehouse, two locks with high-speed doors were installed. The warehouse management system manages the over 800 items in the high-bay warehouse and the various conveyor areas and was integrated into the IT infrastructure of HOCHDORF.
The maintenance of the conveyor system and the high-bay warehouse is guaranteed by the Gilgen customer service. An on-call service is available via remote maintenance for 24 hours. In order to have an immediate availability of the time-critical spare parts, a spare parts list was worked out with the customer and adapted accordingly in the customer warehouse.