Behind the scenes

Mission accomplished – shuttle docked

Tobias Billeter
Zurich, on 07.11.2019

Building bridges in Wohlen: two passageways now link the heart of our logistics centre with the new hall B – the «shuttle». The launch of a fully automated compact warehouse system will double the capacity at the Digitec Galaxus logistics centre.

The crane driver nervously wipes the drops from his brow and pauses for a moment. It’s a rainy, dreary Tuesday morning. «The weather could definitely be better,» says foreman Daniel Sutter. «But as long as there’s no wind, we can carry on at full speed.» And that was exactly what was needed. After all, the erection of a massive 54-ton goods bridge was scheduled that day. A 50-metre steel construction connecting the existing warehouse A with the new hall B – the shuttle. The main artery of the expanded logistics centre, enabling a smooth flow of goods between the old and the new warehouse. As soon as the shuttle is put into operation, the logistics capacities in Wohlen will double.

Little space – little time

Planning, constructing and mounting the goods bridge was a complex endeavour. «Time was scarce, the construction volume comparatively large and the coordination of all parties in such a small space was very demanding,» Sutter continues. «Thankfully, everyone pulled in the same direction and it all went well. There were no major complications.» The morning of day one had been slow. Manoeuvring the first element of the mighty bridge into the designated opening in the facade was a tricky task. The construction and project manager were fully aware of that. Accordingly, the ten-man assembly crew proceeded with great precision and care. Following that, it was plain sailing. On day two, the construction workers put the third and final element into place. The demanding assembly was completed; the shuttle now connected to the main warehouse.

Back-to-back assembly

More structures will be necessary before the shuttle can be put into operation. In addition to the goods bridge, the workers will be setting up an 82-metre-long walkway. The employees will be walking through it to get to their new workplace in the shuttle. Further essential logistic changes were completed in the incoming goods area back in August. «The new semi-automated incoming goods area has given us some breathing space,» says project manager Mike Keller. «We were able to put the system into operation without any hiccoughs – a real success story for the whole team. The new containers have also proven effective. They can be divided into four compartments by means of thin partition walls,» Mike Keller explains further. «These new containers immensely reduce handling time and we can get the most out of the system.»

Creating more packing capacity

Currently, the expansion work in the outgoing goods area is in full swing. To keep up with the increased capacity, the packaging area is also being expanded. This will create extra space for the new packaging machine and 14 additional manual packing stations. The connection work is scheduled to be completed by summer 2020. By that time, the Digitec Galaxus logistics centre in Wohlen will be ready for the next growth spurt.

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Tobias Billeter
Head of Corporate Communications
tobias.billeter@digitecgalaxus.ch

Making sure employees and media know what's up at Digitec Galaxus is my job. But without fresh air and a lot of exercise, I basically stop functioning. The great outdoors provides me with the energy I need to stay on the ball. Jazz gives me the tranquility to tame my kids. 


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