Grifols S.A., headquartered in Barcelona, Spain, is a global healthcare company with bioscience, diagnostics and hospital divisions. Founded in 1940, Grifols develops, manufactures and markets innovative products and services for healthcare professionals in more than 90 countries worldwide. One focus is on the manufacture of medical intermediate and end products in the blood plasma sector. Grifols is the recognised market leader in transfusion medicine and offers a wide range of solutions for clinical laboratories, blood banks, and transfusion centres.
For its strategic Dublin site, Grifols looked for a holistic intralogistics solution from a single source: from planning to implementation to day-to-day operations including support with maintenance work. The new system is designed to reliably meet the high demands for storage technology and safety that are inherent in delicate blood plasma and medical devices.
Grifols has its centre for life sciences in Dublin. Construction of a new high tech warehouse on company remises was envisaged as being the basis for continued worldwide expansion and globalisation. Clients from around 70 countries are supplied from the site in the Irish capital. Storage and handling of highly sensitive blood plasma and its derivatives places extremely stringent demands on intralogistics. The warehouse technology also has to be extremely reliable, even at –35 °C, so that these lifesaving products can reach the recipient as quickly as possible. Processing capacity is around 10 million ampoules per year. It was particularly important for Grifols that automated logistics processes were integrated into their in-house IT system.
The area of the single-aisle, high-bay silo warehouses designed by Jungheinrich totals 22,000 m2. Up to 2,972 pallets can be stacked and retrieved in quadrupledepth storage channels in the warehouse set to a temperature of +5 °C. The rack operating system reaches a ceiling height of up to 26 m. The load lifting takes place transversely via double shuttle. Quality assurance on products takes place in an integrated laboratory, and there are also work areas for labelling, packing, and centralized distribution of complete pharmaceutical products for all markets except for the USA and Spain, the country of origin. The second storage area belonging to the Dublin logistics facility is a single-aisle, high bay silo warehouse with capacity for 1,152 pallets. This cold store area with a temperature range as low as –35 °C is suitable for the safe stacking and retrieval of blood plasma. Here, Jungheinrich has designed quadruple-depth storage channels for Grifols, and the load is handled crossways by a double shuttle. The stacker crane designed in-house for use in extreme temperature conditions reaches a height of 14.3 m. Grifols uses this system as a central warehouse for blood plasma from the USA. The entire warehouse complex is designed for the transport and safe storage of medical devices on both Euro and US pallets (1,219 x 1,016 mm) and is controlled by the Jungheinrich Warehouse Control System (WCS). Due to the high degree of automation in the whole warehouse complex, the throughput speed was increased considerably. A fast Jungheinrich service ensures the high degree of availability of the systems.
“The combination of wide-ranging warehouse logistics expertise with excellent service and support availability, which has made Jungheinrich a world-leading provider of holistic intralogistics solutions, convinced us to commission Jungheinrich with the entire project. Jungheinrich proved that they can implement such major projects ‘on time’ and on target”, said Managing Director Albert Grifols after the opening.