The final steps before the commissioning of our new central warehouse!
In February 2018 in Wallisellen, the first groundbreaking ceremony for our new central warehouse (CDC for Central Distribution Center) took place. Two and a half years later, we are delighted to be able to write about the commissioning of Switzerland's first high-bay warehouse. In line with our corporate strategy, we have opted for sustainability right down to the choice of construction method.
In 2019, we completed the complete installation of the high-bay warehouse and all connections, and we installed the stacker cranes in each rack and the automated small parts warehouse (Autostore system). "Since the beginning of the year, we have been fully committed to the commissioning of all components," explains Benjamin Ertl, Head of logistics at Sonepar Suisse. In February, for example, the movement tests and test runs of the stacker cranes in the high-bay warehouse took place. In four aisles, the racks are stored by fully automated stacker cranes. Next, it was necessary to organize the storage of the large cassettes for long materials. "One aisle is designed for long materials up to 2.15 metres long, with a capacity of 1,500 cassettes. It has two stations on the ground floor and two stations in the basement, which makes it possible to organise the reception of goods and order picking," says Benjamin Ertl.
Second Autostore system for the logistics network
In addition to the high-bay warehouse, the second automated small parts warehouse was commissioned for the Sonepar Suisse logistics network. The first system is located in Rothenburg, where it has been running smoothly since 2016. In the new central warehouse, order picking is distributed over twelve stations. With 70 robots and the tunnel layout, up to 1,600 containers per hour can be placed for picking. Between April and May, 55,000 containers were successfully stored. For eight weeks, the Sonepar Suisse team was supported by employees of the Zurich-based Stiftung Altried foundation: "We had a similar collaboration with the foundation when Rothenburg was commissioned. It was a great experience for those involved and we received a lot of positive feedback, which is why we decided to make another social contribution," explains Benjamin Ertl. Jürg Amrein, Head of Production at Stiftung Altried, is also pleased with the cooperation: "Our employees were happy to go to the construction site in Wallisellen every day and help with the storage of the crates".
The building up of stocks, i.e. the storage of products, took place from the end of May to the beginning of July. Since mid-June, the replenishment of the branches in German-speaking Switzerland has been carried out from the CDC. Gradually, the replenishment of all branches will be carried out from the new central warehouse. From August onwards, all logistics tasks at the Wallisellen site will be managed in the new CDC. In addition, the autostore is creating completely new capacities in this brand new central warehouse. It is a fully automated, state-of-the-art, sustainable building. For example, it is planned that 75 percent of the energy requirements will be covered by the high-performance photovoltaic system installed on the roof.