Advanced specialty building: New hazardous substances warehouse to start operation soon

The new hazardous substances warehouse at Industriepark Höchst features state-of-the-art safety equipment and efficient processes. Extensively automated with 16,500 square meters of space, around 21,500 pallet positions and separate warehouse and cooled storage sections, it demands the very best in facility management services. And it all begins with a carefully crafted solution design and solid agreements with the customer.

At Industriepark Höchst, Infraserv Logistics ’ new hazardous substance warehouse is entering the final phase of construction. The work in the office building is complete; the warehouse is finished; the internal infrastructure – including the racking and cutting-edge safety and control technology – is close to being fully installed. Acceptance inspections by experts are already underway. Infraserv Höchst is investing around EUR 35 million in the warehouse and thus in improving the site’s infrastructure.

The Facilities Services department at Infraserv Höchst is now entering a critical phase: It will soon be taking over hard facility management of the hazardous substances warehouse even as the customer, Infraserv Logistics , starts using it. This advanced specialty building presents a lot of special challenges with regard to the upcoming inspections, agreements with the customer and the actual facility management process. This is largely because Infraserv Logistics’ primary processes are tightly interwoven with the facility manager’s processes. That means, for example, that the failure of just one of the 24 roll-up doors where the trucks will be parking would bring a slew of logistics processes to a shuddering halt.

The shell of the new hazardous substances warehouse is up. The internal infrastructure is currently being installed.

The ventilation, refrigeration and fire-suppression systems demand precision and reliability, too. “This huge building with enormous air vents is on an entirely different scale, even when compared to other hazardous substances warehouses,” said Christina Sommer, Head of the Facilities Services team at Infraserv Höchst that will be responsible for hard facility management and is currently preparing for the building to be commissioned. “Our job is to keep the building fully available for all the complex warehousing processes involving hazardous substances.”

16,500 square meters of storage space, 15 meter high ceiling

The new hazardous substances warehouse is 220 meters long, 75 meters wide and 15 meters high. It thus contains around 16,500 square meters of floor space and approximately 21,500 pallet positions. That translates into plenty of space for storing products and raw materials for chemical and pharmaceutical companies based at Industriepark Höchst and for Infraserv Logistics’ outside customers – and a host of challenges for Infraserv Höchst’s FM experts.

“Our customers can count on having an extremely safe, efficient storage facility,” said Andreas Brockmeyer, Managing Director of Infraserv Logistics. Klaus Alberti, the other Managing Director, stressed, “The new warehouse is broadly licensed to handle a very wide range of hazardous substances at Industriepark Höchst. That means we can offer even more services to our customers, who mainly come from the chemical, pharmaceutical and health care industries.”

Our customers can count on having an extremely safe, efficient storage facility.

Andreas Brockmeyer, Managing Director of Infraserv Logistics

The new hazardous substances warehouse meets stringent safety standards. It has nine sections for storage classes 2-6 and 8-13. The entire building is designed for the highest water hazard class, WGK 3. Highly sensitive chemical, pharmaceutical and health care products can be held in sections designed specifically for temperature-controlled storage. Hazardous substances and other products can be safely stored in temperatures ranging from 2 to 8 °C and 15 to 25 °C.

The racking in Infraserv Logistics’ new hazardous substances warehouse contains around 21,500 pallet positions.

Process optimization and digitalization are key

The new building partially replaces and augments Infraserv Logistics’ hazardous substance storage capacity at the park. Faster processes, extensive automation and a new warehouse management system (WMS) being simultaneously rolled out at all Infraserv Logistics sites will drive efficiency in warehouse operations. That puts the hazardous substances warehouse right at the cutting edge of warehousing technology. Processes between production, warehousing and distribution have been optimized to make the interfaces to the customers even more efficient and transparent.

Due to changes in the supply chain, the new warehouse satisfies a growing demand for broadly licensed hazardous substances storage space and combines safe storage with agility and rapid cargo handling. The park’s safety infrastructure, which includes Infraserv Höchst’s well-equipped industrial fire brigade, plays as pivotal a role as efficient processes and advanced technology. “We are constantly communicating with all the organizational units that are involved in this process. We have so many interfaces to manage and have to keep the information flowing at all times,” explained Sommer.

The good location with direct access to the public railway system, central highway junctions and very close proximity to Frankfurt Airport help to integrate the dangerous substances warehouse into international supply chains. It makes the site attractive to chemical and pharmaceutical manufacturers and drives its evolution as a European logistics hub.