Located in the heart of the southern German ‘Medical Valley’ between Tübingen and Tuttlingen, a highly automated plant for the production of dialysers with synthetic membranes is emerging on a former military site. These are used as filter units in renal dialysis and facilitate individual, quality-based therapy for kidney diseases.
Kardex Mlog is planning, delivering and installing the entire conveyor system on the site and in the individual production areas.
Production on several levels
The region around Hechingen lives up to its name: not only are the best-known companies in the world of medical technology located here, but the hilly terrain suits the name adapted from California’s Silicon Valley. The plant is located on a hill, where the space is exhausted. So the new plant can only be constructed on much lower-lying terrain. The connection to the existing production building is achieved via a supply bridge that is more than 100 metres long and up to ten metres high. The raw materials and semi-finished goods are transferred to bridge level via vertical conveyor and into the new production area via a highly dynamic transfer carriage. Once there they are distributed onto three levels via two vertical conveyor. The highest level is designed purely as a supply area. For distribution, an additional transfer carriage was installed alongside an extensive conveyor system. The actual production area is located on the lower floors. The finished products as well as auxiliary supplies and waste are also transported back over the bridge to the main site. This has made it possible to dispense completely with the use of trucks or internal transport vehicles.
Process optimisation in the existing facility
The high demands placed on the conveyor system also affect existing production, whose throughput must remain unaffected. A project team made up of experienced refurbishment specialists from Kardex Mlog and Gambro staff therefore carried out an in-depth analysis of elements of the existing facility and transport processes beforehand and identified some potential for optimisation, which is now being exploited in the course of the extension.