In the pharmaceutical sector, pre-wholesale is an important linking step on a medication’s path from the manufacturer to the customer. As third-party logistics providers, pre-wholesalers like Swiss-based Alloga must tackle very specific challenges and ensure highest levels of quality at all times. And the ability to respond to individual requirements in a standardized way is becoming a prerequisite for competitiveness.
Alloga, a company of the Galenica Group, is among the leading logistics companies for pharmaceutical pre-wholesale in Switzerland and provides the pharma industry with modular, process-driven services along the entire supply chain. Medication especially needs to be ready quickly, in line with the demands of the over 13,000 recipients - including doctors, pharmacies and hospitals - supplied by Alloga.
Modernization of conveyor technology during ongoing operations
The rising number of orders and ever-increasing storage capacity, throughput and efficiency requirements made it necessary for Alloga to strategically renew its conveyor technology. Alloga chose the experienced systems integrator Flück Fördertechnik, from Kirchberg, Switzerland, a leading provider of integrated solutions.
One of the special demands from Alloga was to manage a modernization project during ongoing operations—without interrupting operations and under significant time pressure. This is why Flück successfully worked together with Interroll, his long-standing partner, who provided an optimal solution with its modular conveyor platform (MCP). “The delivery of the pre-assembled Interroll modules was the only way this project could be successfully carried out in the short time frame," confirms Peter Flück, Managing Director of Flück Fördertechnik AG.
A tailored solution in order picking to double throughput
To optimize throughput in the existing space, Flück developed a custom-made design for Alloga: special loading towers for the order picking area. This involves the employees loading the complete picked orders into conveying lines that go straight to the shipping area. The boxes are raised by a vertical conveyor to a height of four meters to minimize space requirements. Using the new conveyor system with zero-pressure-accumulation technology, a lot more buffer capacity could be created along the way. With these loading islands, additional storage capacity was build up, which means that the order picker can unload all the goods at once and then go back to his or her task.
Significant improvements for Alloga
For Andreas Koch, Head of Alloga, the advantages of the new material flow layout were obvious: "Some of the improvements we managed to achieve were to create more loading stations, which meant more possibilities to make use of the conveyor technology. We now have more transport capacity into the shipping department - in fact, we managed to double it - and, as a pleasant side effect, I would also like to mention that the conveyor system is quieter now, too."
Thanks to smart modernization, Alloga was able to optimize its complex flow of goods and increase its throughput. Today, Alloga is clearly on track for future growth!