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Logistics with sustainability

Modern clay warehouse combines productivity and architecture

The ecological philosophy of the company is embodied in the Ricola Herb Center. The hall is made of clay, a natural building material. Its “heart” is a warehouse concept based on short distances along with 23 of our energy-efficient fork lift trucks.

A large company with a small footprint

A sweets emporium can be found behind those bags with Ricola Swiss herbal sweets. In Laufen, Switzerland, the company headquarters monitors exports to more than 50 countries worldwide. The core is the Herb Center on the company premises. 1.4 million tonnes of fresh herbs are washed, dried, cut, stored, and mixed every year in this approximately 3,600 square metre hall. 290 million packages leave the neighbouring production sites every year. With almost 400 staff, logistics need to ensure smooth operations.

The core philosophy of the company comes above everything else: Environmental protection. Everything is ecologically set up at Ricola - from natural ingredients to the supply chain. The Swiss family-run company followed all eco-trends long before they became mainstream. As the epitome of environmental awareness, Ricola commissioned star architects Herzog & de Meuron to design their Herb Center out of a natural material: It is the largest clay building in Europe. Production and efficiency are a high priority so that everything behind closed doors is also environmentally friendly. In particular, warehouse logistics should help reduce the CO2 footprint.

Thomas Aeschlimann
Operating manager of herb cultivation at Ricola

“Jungheinrich’s solution means we are able to make our internal logistics processes in the warehouse efficient and sustainable."

Warehouse concept with ideal use of space

Our warehouse concept won through in a competition. It is characterised by optimal use of space and short routes. Everything is designed in a line in our narrow-aisle warehouse. Only the minimum space is required for aisle width between our type B pallet racks in the narrow-aisle warehouse. Our pallet racks improve utilisation of space as they allow for storage at a greater height. Our fork lift trucks allow for a smooth flow of materials.

Energy-saving fork lift trucks

The EKX 513 series of narrow aisle trucks were tailored to the needs of the Herb Center. The quarantine warehouse, the cutting system, and the mixing facility were supplied by an EFG 216 k three-wheel electric fork lift truck. An EJE C20 electric low-lift truck aids conveyor technology with production in the neighbouring building. Our fork lift trucks also contribute to ecological operation through high performance and low energy consumption. With Jungheinrich’s three-phase technology they achieve optimal effectiveness and gain energy back when braking. One battery charge is sufficient for two full shifts.

“We’ve already had plenty of good experiences regarding the quality and reliability of the trucks, as well as benefiting from Jungheinrich expertise in terms of warehouse equipment. It wasn’t a difficult decision”, says Thomas Aeschlimann, operating manager of herb cultivation at Ricola. “Jungheinrich’s solution means we are able to make our internal logistics processes in the warehouse efficient and sustainable”.

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