The Uelzena Group continues to grow and to invest strongly. Following many months of planning, the first construction phase of the new high-rise storage warehouse, located directly next to the existing site’s premises has begun. The starting point for the modernisation was the purchase of a neighbouring lot where up until 2013 pickled vegetables had been produced. Within the framework of a strategic master plan, Uelzena was able to secure a large part of these premises a few years ago.
The new lot is the size of a football field; the high-rise storage warehouse to be built on half of the lot will be as high as 37 metres. As a comparison: The new building is precisely the height of the visitor’s platform "Plaza" at the new Elbe Philharmonic Hall in Hamburg. The new high-rise storage facility will offer room for approximately 13,000 pallets and is in the direct neighborhood of the main site of the Uelzena Group.
Lack of space at the original premises is the reason for the €17m investment. As sales have continued to grow over the years, more and more external space had to be leased for the storage of finished products, raw materials and packagings. This meant: long transportation routes for the trucks.
Currently a sophisticated truck logistics system ensures that the right materials arrive at the right time at the right place and that the finished products are sent to the right storage facility. The new high-rise storage warehouse is scheduled to start operation at the end of 2018 and thus the transportation routes will be shorter and more efficient. Most of the time-consuming loading processes will no longer be needed. With trucks no longer driving, the CO2 footprint and emissions of particulate matter will be reduced.
"The new high-rise storage facility is an important investment for our cooperatively organised company and is the foundation for future growth," says Jörn Dwehus, CEO at Uelzena. "With streamlined logistics, the production and sales departments will be able to respond much better to individual, short-term or modified customer requests."
The magic number in terms of quality of the new storage warehouse is 1,350. This is how many pallets may be maximally handled in the new storage depot – per hour. The latest elevator technology and IT will control handling; the transport of the pallets to and from six truck loading ramps will be performed almost completely automatically. Fast shelf operating units move independently through the aisles, laser sensors track all pallets via bar codes and storage management software ensures automatic management.
"All products and goods will be stored under optimal conditions at a constant temperature of 24°C with controlled humidity," promises Dr. Peter Fichtl, Head of Production and Technology.
Investment and modernisation does not end with the new premises next to the headquarters. Uelzena is also remodeling its drying technology. Two new evaporators and a filter unit for one of the milk powder towers will be built on site and the associated filling plant will be comprehensively remodeled – the investment for these works adds up to €14m.
Currently, 18,000 tons of milk powder are produced in several spraying towers at the Uelzena site. With the new production technology in place, the volume that can be handled may rise by an additional 4,000 tons. The new equipment predominantly provides for special and innovative specifications. The demand and customers for these products are from the field of functional food.
Positive side effects: Less dust and noise because of the new filters and the jacketing of the evaporators.