Egemin Automation has embarked upon a new major phase in the construction of the new deepfreeze warehouse of Agristo in Nazareth, the installation of the automated stacker cranes. The day before yesterday, the last of the eight cranes was hoisted into the high-bay warehouse. The installation will be put into operation from the end of February in order to ensure the completion of the entire project, planned for late March 2016. Egemin installed the 23-tonne cranes in the eight crane aisles of the warehouse, which has 15 storage levels. The lifting operations required a great deal of precision because of the bad weather conditions of the last weeks, but also because of the size of the cranes.

Now the last crane is in place, Egemin will fix the roofing and outer wall elements to the warehouse racks of the clad rack construction, and will also fit out other areas of the warehouse. The warehouse will be completely cold drawn in February. During the cooling, the installations will be tested and adjusted continuously, so that upon reaching -25°C, the warehouse will be fully operational. “The first Agristo pallets need to find a temporary place in our new cold store in early March,” says Carmen Wallays, Procurement & Logistics Director at Agristo. “This 15-million-euro investment is part of the continuing growth of Agristo and it is the first step in expanding production at the production site in Nazareth in East Flanders.”

Storage for 17,500 tonnes of potato products at -25°C

The eight stacker cranes will be responsible for the automated storage of 24,500 euro pallets, or almost 17,500 tonnes of frozen potato products at temperatures of -25°C. The new warehouse will be able to process 360 pallet movements per hour. “Since Agristo produces seven days a week and has a logistics department that operates 16 hours a day, five days a week, large buffers must be processed quickly,” says Carmen Wallays. Fast dispatch is also important, so that trucks can be loaded quickly and no time will be lost this way.
The clad rack structure of the new deepfreeze warehouse is specifically designed to be durable in its use of energy. All installed cranes are equipped with an internal energy recovery system and the energy released during lowering and braking of the cranes is recovered and used for lifting and driving movements. Other partners in the project are Synergo, Stow, Alheembouw, Cofely Axima and Isocab Construct.


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