The extremely rapid progress of technology has opened the door to numerous innovative concepts. Especially in the field of logistics, where fully automated high bay warehouses are becoming increasingly popular. This solution is also the main focus of ‘The Barry Callebaut Chocolate Box’. Thanks to SSI SCHAEFER, a world player and pioneer in this field, it has become a powerful piece of technical ingenuity. Steve Vercammen from SSI SCHAEFER Belgium gives an insight into this project.
High-quality chocolate and cocoa products
Barry Callebaut is the world's largest manufacturer of high-quality chocolate and cocoa products. With more than 12,000 employees in 63 factories worldwide, the group supplies chocolate in 143 countries. In 2018 Barry Callebaut decided to build a new warehouse in Belgium. From this location, millions of tons of chocolate are delivered worldwide. This required a huge warehouse area that had to be optimally laid out. Besides the intralogistics, sustainability was important to Barry Callebaut in every aspect of the project. The building ultimately received a BREEAM Outstanding certificate and thus achieved the highest sustainability score for logistics buildings.
Guaranteed product quality
SSI SCHAEFER delivers and implements complete intralogistics solutions with state-of-the-art systems and support services for manual, dynamic, or fully automated warehouse solutions. "Our strength is that we can handle complex and large-scale projects," says Steve Vercammen, Sales Manager Automated Solutions at SSI SCHAEFER Belgium. "We have the know how in-house and besides that also manufacture all products in-house. We do this in six different locations. From racking, conveyors, cranes to software. The great advantage of in-house production is that we can guarantee the quality of the products. This makes us a strong partner for intralogistics solutions."
Large and complex
SSI SCHAEFER is especially strong in the area of fully automatic high bay warehouses. In Belgium others like, La Lorraine, Lantmännen Unibake, ECS, Begro and Roger & Roger have already called on our intralogistics expertise. "With 'The Barry Callebaut Chocolate Box', we have added a special reference," says Steve Vercammen proudly. "After all, this is one of the most major projects we have recently realised in Belgium."
Clad rack building
"We built the 124 x 100-meter silo for Barry Callebaut with a height of 40 meters. It is a so-called 'clad rack' building in which the scaffolding also serves to assemble the sidewalls and the roof. The high bay warehouse has 13 aisles that offer double-deep storage capacity. This fully automated warehouse offers space for 73,495 pallets," says Steve Vercammen.
Distribution centre operational in less than 2 years
For the realisation of this project, sixty employees were deployed with an ambitious assignment: the distribution centre had to be operational in less than two years. Steve continues: "This was not an easy job as we were in the COVID-19 period and had to face extreme weather conditions. Next to that we also had to coordinate with many other contractors on the site. Thanks to good communication and planning, we managed to deliver this challenging project on time as well."
Resident Maintenance Team
"As an additional value, service was an important part of the contract," Steve cites. " On-site we keep the system running with our very own Resident Maintenance Team (RM Team). The RM Team provides for the timely scheduling and execution of maintenance activities. Together with Barry Callebaut, the RM Team keeps investigating further process optimisations. In this way, the RM Team supports and relieves Barry Callebaut and guarantees optimum uptime."