Space optimisation in cold storage - The Constructor solution for Octapharma Mobile pallet racking & Mesh

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Space optimisation in cold storage - The Constructor solution for Octapharma Mobile pallet racking & Mesh

A new central warehouse has seen the light of day in Stockholm. It is the pharmaceutical company, Octapharma AB, which has built new storage premises. Constructor Sweden has acted as a design partner in the project from start to finish and has then delivered the pallet racking for the entire warehouse.

Octapharma is one of the biggest players in the international market for protein-based drugs. The company was founded in 1983 and now has approximately 5,500 employees in 45 countries.

Since the capacities of the existing 6,000 m2 warehouse in Langenlonsheim were no longer were able to keep up with the continued strong growth, a mammoth project  was decided upon at Corporate Express: over six months of construction in Waldlaubersheim - about 10 km from one of the currently decentralised three logistics centres located in Germany - an ultramodern logistics centre with four buildings and a total area of 45,000 m2 was to be developed. 

The warehouse is designed to meet the daily flow of goods and includes areas such as; incoming / outgoing goods, warehouse, cold and freeze storage. In the high bay racking, raw materials, consumables and packaging materials will be stored, such as salt, chemicals, hoses and glassware. The cold area is for raw materials and finished products while the freeze warehouse will be used for the storage of raw materials, intermediates and finished products.

"Before we took the decision about the material handling equipment, we looked at other storage premises in our group," says Sarah Lundqvist. "However, we did not choose a narrow-aisle solution as the other countries had, but a traditional rack solution with 3 metre wide aisles in the warehouse area. Since we do not have any warehouse function today, it has been difficult for us to choose the right pallet handling system and in this respect Constructor’s technical engineers have worked very well as a design partner with us."

One of the key rooms of the warehouse is the freezing storage facility. Sarah Lundqvist explains: "Initially, we had planned to install conventional pallet racking in the freezing area, but this solution only gave us 1000 pallet places, which was too little. So we looked for a solution with Constructor suggesting mobile racking (MOVO),we then obtained a total of 1300 pallet places. By installing a MOVO system we could keep the room the same size, but still get in more pallet places, thereby saving energy costs. "

Storage of drugs implies great demands on safety, hygiene and temperature while at the same time maintaining safety procedures. For example, the temperature in the freezing area has to be at a constant temperature of -30 degrees centigrade. The room is monitored 24/7 so that it always stays at that temperature. This also applies to the high bay storage (15-25o) and cold room (2-8o) which are also monitored constantly to ensure temperature consistency. With regard to safety, the two outermost sections of the freezing storage area are shielded and interlocked. On the left side finished products are stored which should not be mixed with raw materials, while on  the right side the lower pallet places are shielded. Sarah Lundqvist says: "Here we store "quarantine" products. There may be items that we do not know if we can use”.

Another technical issue in the freezing storage was the escape route, the specification for which is mandatory. The distance from the last mobile rack to the back wall is 1.2 metre. By mounting a rack with tunnel protection above the escape route, this extra space can also be used for storage. 

Total capacity

Number of pallet places: 1387
Number of static single racking: 2
Number of trolleys: 4
Trolley length: 29 900 mm