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Pandemic warehouse renovation for food discounter

02 November 2021

In a bid to further improve logistics efficiency, Switzerland’s largest food discounter Denner modernised its central warehouse in Mägenwil AG with automation technology from Swisslog.

THE WAREHOUSE serves as the primary hub for supplying over 250 Denner stores with groceries and essential household products. Despite a tight schedule and restrictions imposed by Covid-19, all work was carried out according to plan. 

The renovation of Denner's distribution centre in Mägenwil, Canton Aargau, was a big undertaking – and now it has been successfully completed. Logistics automation provider Swisslog implemeted a high-bay food warehouse for hard goods, complete with modern automation. The project was carried out during pandemic restrictions and within a live, high capacity operation.

“As a discounter, we are all about efficiency, while at the same time the demands on logistics are constantly increasing. Ensuring the availability of goods as well as fast and error-free delivery to over 250 stores are decisive factors for the project, while at the same time the conversion also offers added ecological value,” explains Daniel Kindler, head of the Mägenwil distribution centre. “Since the new installation has been in operation, material flows are more efficient and conserve resources,” says Kindler.

Seamlessly coordinated processes

Swisslog replaced twelve older pallet stacker cranes with modern ones and installed new pallet conveyor technology. In addition, two new mezzanine levels were built. The available time window to complete the project was just five months. “The challenges were great. The Covid-19 safety measures demanded a lot of us and yet we managed to complete all the work within the specifications,” Mario Flory from Swisslog is pleased to report. The project manager was responsible for coordinating the work, overseeing a large team of dozens of craftsmen and technicians.

Stablising food supply

Swisslog performed the modernisation not just during shift hours, but also at night and on weekends, in order to cause the least amount of disruption to Denner's activities. In addition, for major installation measures, the team worked in phases. Flory explains: “To enable the removal of the stacker cranes, about a quarter of the high-bay warehouse was emptied by placing a partial assortment externally and picking it there. Thus, we were able to remove three old stacker cranes at once and install three new ones in 10 days.”

Goods in the high-bay warehouse were transferred after their installation and software connection, freeing up the next shelf area. Swisslog saved time for the operational ramp-up by doing extensive advance tests on Saturdays and Sundays. 

Flory concludes: "We are pleased that we were able to play our part in securing the food supply at Denner.”

Learn more about how Swisslog can help optimise your warehousing and logistics operations in the full post here: www.swisslog.com/Denner-HSS