Swiss food discounter Denner modernizes warehouse during pandemic

In a bid to further improve logistics efficiency, Switzerland’s largest food discounter Denner has recently modernized its central warehouse in Maegenwil AG with automation technology from Swisslog. The warehouse serves as the primary hub for supplying over 250 Denner stores with groceries and essential household products. Despite a tight schedule and restrictions imposed by COVID-19, all work was carried out according to plan.

With its Vectura cranes, Denner will reduce its energy consumption by 20% in the future.

Aarau/Buchs, 1 September 2021 – The modernization of Denner's distribution center was a big undertaking – and has now been successfully completed. Logistics automation provider Swisslog implemented a high-bay food warehouse for dry goods, complete with modern automation. The project was carried out during pandemic restrictions and within a live, high capacity operation.

"As a discounter, we are all about efficiency, while at the same time the demands on logistics are constantly increasing. Ensuring the availability of goods as well as fast and error-free delivery to over 250 stores were decisive factors for this project, while at the same time offering added ecological value," explains Daniel Kindler, Head of the Mägenwil distribution center. "Since the new installation has been in operation, material flows are more efficient and conserve energy," says Kindler.

Intelligent transport systems from Swisslog easily adapt to any warehousing need

Seamlessly coordinated processes

Swisslog replaced twelve older pallet stacker cranes with modern Vectura ones and installed new pallet conveyor technology. In addition, two new mezzanine levels were built. The available time window to complete the project was just five months. "The challenges were great. The COVID-19 safety measures demanded a lot from us and yet we managed to complete all work as planned," Swisslog project manager, Mario Flory, reported.

Stabilizing food supply

Swisslog performed the modernization not only during normal shift hours, but also at night and over weekends, in order to minimize disruption to Denner. In addition, for major installation measures, the team worked in phases.

Every Vectura crane is tested before it is shipped. This ensures a flawless and fast installation.

Flory explains, "To enable the removal of the stacker cranes, about a quarter of the high-bay warehouse was emptied by placing a partial assortment externally and picking it there. Thus, we were able to remove three old stacker cranes at once and install three new ones in just 10 days." Goods in the high-bay warehouse were transferred after their installation and software connection, freeing up the next shelf zone.

Swisslog saved time for the operational ramp-up by doing extensive advance tests on Saturdays and Sundays. Flory concludes: "We are pleased that we were able to play our part in securing the food supply chain at Denner."

About Swisslog

Swisslog delivers data-driven & robotic solutions for your logistics automation alongside reliable, modular service concepts. Collaborating with forward-thinking companies, we are committed to setting new standards in warehouse automation to provide future-proof products and solutions. As part of the KUKA Group, our customers trust the competence of our passionate employees – more than 14,000 people working across the globe.