Getting the right material to
production at the right time

Klaus Kolewe Storage Specialist, Springe, Germany

The groundwork for production starts with us. It is our role to ensure that the production department gets the right material, of the right quality, in the right amount, at the right time.

My main responsibilities include receiving the materials, storing them and commissioning them so that they are available to production when needed.

Stock control in the warehouse. Control of the actual balance according to OctaMES.

We have a daily recurring delivery for the fractionation department, which is our main recipient. They receive a specific amount of various materials every day without having to place a separate order each time. We prepare material throughout the day and the “tunnel transport”, which runs in three shifts, 24/7, drives everything over to production at specified times – 4pm and 8pm.

When we get to work in the morning, around 7am, we have orders waiting in our email inbox. The foremen who are working the night shift process the orders. They might do the orders at 11pm, but we don’t see the orders until the morning. If the ordered substance is needed by 2pm, we plan to drive it out to Production by then. We know about our orders a maximum of one day ahead of time, but it could also be as little as five minutes. We have one ongoing order delivered daily to fractionation, but it also happens that someone calls and says, “I urgently need X” because they need a replacement material quickly so that production can proceed.

We have approximately 400 different materials in storage. This includes raw materials, such as gloves, bottles, plugs, waste containers, cardboard boxes, bin liners, paper, office materials, tryptophane and octanoic acid (two important components for stabilising albumin). We handle additives needed for production, including salts, filter aids, filtering candles, filter beds and sampling containers. The material regularly needed by production includes filter aids, acetic acid, disodium phosphate, trisodium citrate, sodium chloride, sodium hydroxide, filter beds, filtering paper, filtering candles, clean room Polyethylene (PE) packs for rubbish and PE bags for packing the intermediates. Space is our biggest challenge. We have a high-bay shelf warehouse with 1,429 spaces for pallets. We use a very narrow aisle (VNA) forklift which is electronically secured so we can put things on the shelves and take them away without risking injury.

I’m proud when evening time rolls around and all the work orders have been processed and the warehouse is clean.

Meeting with colleagues, agreeing on the allocation of tasks.

In the morning, we get all the package deliveries that have to be processed (goods received or deliveries). We have to process what’s there as quickly as possible and ensure it gets to the right department. We enter it into our manufacturing execution systems and deliver it, and that’s how things continue the whole day, as new orders keep coming in. At the end of the day, the biggest order for the fractionation department has to be ready so that it can be driven over at 8pm.

I most enjoy driving the big industrial trucks, and the contact with colleagues, drivers and suppliers. I’m proud when evening time rolls around and all the work orders have been processed and the warehouse is clean and everything has been picked up. You are taught during your advanced training courses that our work has to be thorough because our medications are given to people who are quite ill. But when you see that there are people who are really getting on well and are in control of their life because of the medication, of course that makes you especially proud.

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