The growth projection for Alpro’s site in Wevelgem (B) raised the question whether to keep storing finished goods entirely onsite or to push storage (partially) externally. After significant study work (gravity, feasibility), Van Looy Group was challenged to accommodate the storage and throughput requirements on the existing site. A combination of a new automated highbay warehouse and a new conventional warehouse was engineered and implemented by Van Looy Group.
Alpro’s new highbay warehouse is 40m high and offers storage capacity for 6.000 chilled pallets and 24.000 ambient pallets. The storage and retrieval to/from the warehouse is performed by 9 automatic pallet stacker cranes with double load carriers. The new highbay warehouse offers a throughput of 750.000 pallets per year and is capable of manipulating both 800x1.200mm and 1.000x1.200mm size pallets.
The warehouse is interconnected with the 2 production zones on the Alpro site by means of a conveyor system. Immediately after being produced, pallets are automatically transported towards the highbay warehouse. After being checked on key dimensions, the pallets are intelligently distributed over the 9 pallet crane aisles.
Outbound shipments are transferred from Alpro’s ERP to the WMS whereas the latter translates these shipments into internal transport queues. Right after the required pallets are retrieved in sequence by the 9 stacker cranes, the pallets are transported over a conveyor system towards the assigned outbound gates where the pallets are staged. As soon as a shipment is physically complete, the truck loading is started.
On top of the dominant full pallet flow, the automated warehouse also allows the assembly of mixed pallets by means of pallet-to-pallet picking stations. Mixed pallets are either directly transported towards the outbound gates or buffered in the high bay. A traditional warehouse for storing 10.000 pallets of packaging materials is seamlessly integrated in the new warehouse.
Van Looy Group was responsible for the concept design, engineering and implementation of the new automated warehouse for the logistics, technical utilities and building domain. Construction and project managers of Van Looy Group assured a smooth implementation phase within the predefined time, scope and cost baselines.
Alpro (founded: 1980) is a Belgian producer of vegetarian/vegan alternatives for dairy products with production sites in Belgium, France and UK. Alpro is part of the DanoneWave company since 2017.