Air-conditioned high-bay warehouse permits storage of delicatessen products
Less than two years after opening a brand-new distribution centre on the De Prijkels industrial zone in Nazareth, Dematra is building a fully automated, completely gas-free and permanently air-conditioned high-bay warehouse plus picking zone. Thus, this logistics player will soon be able to store and trade foodstuffs like chocolate with specific temperature requirements.
The 45 metre tall high-bay warehouse covers an area of more than 10,000 m2, with room for 75,000 pallets that are stored in and removed from the racks fully automatically . The warehouse is being built ‘back-to-front’: first the shelving structure is erected in the open air, with 10 metres high, 12 metres long and 4 metres wide modules in which the technical installations are already pre-assembled. Only after the 'meccano' shelving has been completed are the exterior façades and the roof erected, in order to leave as little unused space as possible.
Industrium is part of a construction team with main contractor Alheembouw. The installations we proposed to the customer are completely geared to their construction method. As well as designing the technical installations, we advised the client on the choice of contractors combining the most favourable pricing and greatest technical knowledge with the ability to complete the assignment within the extremely short time frame of one year. Finally, we are also monitoring the on-site installation work.
Source picture: alheembouw
Maximum 18° C
Operating mainly in packaged foodstuffs, Dematra provides the link between distribution centres and retailers. Foodstuffs containing chocolate are highly sensitive to temperature fluctuations. That is why the temperature in the new warehouse must never exceed 18 degrees Celsius.
With a view to maximum sustainability, we proposed 2 scenarios to the client for cooling and heating the room. A feasibility study showed air-water heat pumps to be preferable to geothermal energy. It is remarkable that Dematra then – at a time when gas was still relatively cheap and therefore common in the industry – already opted to build completely gasless. Today this appears to have been a very far-sighted choice.
In order to fully utilize the space inside the warehouse for storage, the heat pumps (470 kW) and the air groups (10 x 20,000 m3/h) are placed on the outside around the building. The air that we heat or cool is distributed in the warehouse in such a way that all racks and pallets maintain a constant temperature, from north to south façade and from floor to ceiling. The sprinklers are positioned more closely than is customary in such warehouses, with 1 sprinkler head per 4 pallets, resulting in a total of 20,000 sprinklers throughout the warehouse. The pumps feeding the circuit have a flow rate of 10,000 litres of water per minute, with a water supply of over 600,000 litres.
At the front of the warehouse is a building with more than 2,000 m2 of floor area over 4 levels, in which the picking will take place. Many dozens of employees will be working here. Because the goods entering or leaving the warehouse must also be kept at the right temperature here, and because of the human occupation, these areas are also heated and cooled with heat pumps (150 kW) and the air groups.
The temperature is measured continuously at 120 places in the warehouse and registered in the building management system via data logging. If Dematra ever receives a question or complaint from a customer, it is easy to call up the precise location of the pallet and recover the storage temperature data.
Want to know more? Contact our experts Frank Devenyn and Hans De Bosschere at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com or by phone at 050 40 45 30.