400 square meters of automatic warehouse for 100 million capsules
Based on the concept of Industry 4.0, the warehouse is a fully automated warehouse upgraded and transformed by Suzhou Capsule.
It has solved the storage problem of 48 billion hollow capsules per year, and realized the entire process of warehousing operations, and the logistics efficiency has been greatly improved.
What can you do in a 400 square meter space? A luxurious villa is basically enough; an office for up to 100 people, OK, no problem; a restaurant with 42 tables and four people is just right. However, have you ever thought that 400 square meters of space can also become a medicine warehouse for more than 100 million capsules?
In 2017, China's largest hollow capsule manufacturer, Suzhou Capsule Co., Ltd., together with Wealth Depot, a company specializing in providing intelligent logistics solutions, successfully built a fully automated warehouse, integrating digital production packaging and intelligent storage functions As one of the key components of its Industry 4.0 production plant.
Exterior of Suzhou Capsule Factory
Automatic warehouse: overall design, precise control
Suzhou Capsule Co., Ltd. is one of the world's top ten production bases of CAPSUGEL. With an annual output of 48 billion hollow capsules, it adopts fully automated control operations, strict indoor cleanliness procedures and quality monitoring, and air temperature and humidity flow control centers. Conditions to ensure the provision of quality products. The newly built automatic warehouse is closely connected with the production line, shouldering the functions of finished product storage and delivery, which greatly improves logistics efficiency and saves manpower.
From casting line, weighing, labeling, sealing, metal detection, storage, to the final order product out of the warehouse, the entire warehousing operation process is fully automated, while making full use of every inch of space in the warehouse. System designer Danny revealed that the entire project integrated equipment from more than a dozen different manufacturers. Different equipment needs to complement each other to achieve efficient operation of the entire automation system. This means that the designer must not only accurately control the overall logistics system, but also know the characteristics of each device.
Another design worth mentioning is the corridor between the packaging area (clean room) and the storage and shipping area. Before the transformation, 9 to 12 people were required to transport the medicines after being sealed to the storage and delivery area, and a pedestrian walkway was required between the two areas. This is not satisfactory from a cost, efficiency, or security perspective. To this end, the warehouse will design a fully sealed, pollution-free corridor at a height of 4.2 meters above the ground. The carton sealed in the packing area is taken to a high place by the elevator, enters the corridor, and finally reaches the Miniload dense storage area.
The finished product enters the logistics system from the production workshop
The hoist delivers the finished product from the workshop to the Miniload library
In order to avoid the contamination of pallets and cartons by the traditional chain-type pallet conveying line, Daku specially designed a synchronous belt-type pallet conveying line for Suzhou Capsule. This design greatly reduces the possible pollution of medicines during the process of storage, and fully reflects the high-level system detail design ability of the large warehouse.
Timing belt transfer design to avoid oil pollution
In addition, in the system design process, the warehouse strictly complies with GMP requirements and always puts drug safety first. The logistics system not only guarantees the quality of Suzhou capsule products, but also guarantees the safety of consumers.
Main operation flow
After the carton filled with capsules comes down from the production line and enters the warehouse's logistics system, it needs to undergo two monitoring before entering the warehouse. The first is weighing monitoring. If the standard weight is not reached, the drug will be checked out. Immediately after, the carton enters a custom-made A4 paper labeling station, and the machine automatically prints and attaches the paper label.
A4 paper label printing and labeling
After labeling, it is automatically sealed with different tapes according to different capsule types. After completion, the box is subject to metal monitoring to ensure that the medicine does not contain any impurities. Drugs that pass these two monitoring procedures can only be put into inventory.
At the time of shipment, Miniload is sent out of the warehouse according to the finished boxes required by the shipment batch. The tailor-made ABB robot automatically codes the pallets with different patterns according to the total number of boxes in the shipment batch.
The empty trays required for the code disk are provided by the automatic code disk and the disk dismantling robot. The coded pallets are sent to the shipping buffer area to wait for the truck to arrive.
Empty pallet return
Customized services address pain points in industry applications
In order to achieve the best results, advanced equipment is essential in a logistics system integration solution that is optimized to the greatest extent. In response to the huge production volume of Suzhou capsules, Daku and TGW worked closely to customize the first four-stretch Miniload stacker in China, which can carry four boxes of cargo at one time, greatly accelerating the speed of cargo access (400 in and out of the warehouse per hour Multiple boxes), shorten the time of delivery and loading. At the same time, the warehouse also uses the ABB manipulator with excellent flexibility, which greatly improves the accuracy of cargo handling and improves the overall operating efficiency of the goods from sorting to delivery.
Miniload library and quad extension Miniload stacker
Suzhou Capsule Company has been operating for 30 years and adopts continuous production and centralized delivery mode, so it needs a lot of space for temporary storage of shipments.
As the volume of business continues to increase, the space of the factory becomes very valuable. After the implementation of the project, the entire process has been fully automated from investment line, weighing, labeling, sealing, metal detection, storage, pallet, to the final order product out of stock, saving a lot of manpower and space, It reduces the pollution that may be caused by manual contact with products, and greatly improves the level of logistics management and operation efficiency.