Actemium makes stacker cranes at Candia's dairy facility in Lons even more efficient

Candia's facility in Lons, which has a yearly production of 250 million liters of dairy products, recently outsourced modernisation of its high bay warehouse to Actemium.

A subsidiary of French dairy cooperative Sodiaal, Candia has several production sites in France, including one in the heart of the country's south-eastern region. The facility has seen its production optimised by numerous investments over the last few years. Since 2014, Actemium, the VINCI Energies brand dedicated to industrial processes, has been helping Candia to modernise its storage area which has to accommodate nearly 12,500 pallets of milk cartons.

A tricky business for 24/7 production

Modernising a high bay warehouse (HBW) includes several key steps, each of which can be critical: 24/7 production does not allow for repeated or prolonged downtime and each operation must be carried out in a very short period to guarantee production continuity and stock integrity.

The Lons HBW has three aisles, each with an automatic stacker crane, driven by a central electronic control system. The Actemium teams started working on a first stacker crane.

An initial study phase led to the replacement of the crane's obsolete mechanical components, followed by reconstruction of the electronic control and computer systems. The commissioning phase consisted in rolling out all the new components on the system during a production shutdown.

Convincing results

The first phase resulted in numerous upgrades to the system. Replacement of the mechanical components and electronic control system has improved productivity and equipment availability. The addition of more ergonomic functionality including maintenance assistance (via Actemium assistance with remote communication and a hotline), and a man-machine interface makes operation more functional.

All these developments have also considerably improved the energy performance of the stacker crane.

Based on these results, the second and third stacker cranes were also modernised.