NCPC, China

Founded in 1953, North China Pharmaceutical Corporation (NCPC) has achieved constant growth to the point where it is now a leader in the pharmaceutical industry in China. Dematic has recently assisted NCPC with the construction of a new DC at Shijiazhuang in Hebei Province.

North China Pharmaceutical Corporation (NCPC), a leading pharmaceutical manufacturer in China, produces over 430 kinds of antibiotics, semisynthetic antibiotics, pharmaceutical intermediates, vitamins, biotechnology products, veterinary and neutraceuticals, both in bulk and in finished products. 

When NCPC decided to invest in a new plant to produce and handle cephalosporin-based antibiotics, it turned to Dematic. The new plant is expected to generate annual sales revenue of up to RMB 12 billion, which will help NCPC form a complete industrial chain and a rich line-up of cephalosporin antibiotics. 

Auto checking, tracking and QC for risk free DC 

At the heart of the NCPC’s system is a 10,000 pallet ASRS for storage of raw materials and finished goods. The ASRS is located adjacent to a two-level building where production of a wide range of cephalosporin antibiotics occurs. 

The ASRS is integrated with the production lines at both ends of the system, feeding raw materials in at one end and receiving finished goods after they have been palletized. 

When developing the new facility, NCPC wanted a risk-free system that would increase utilization and reliability. They also required automatic checking, tracking and quality control throughout the process. 

Dematic completed systems installation and commissioning in just 14 weeks meeting NCPC’s high expectations. “Dematic works professionally, efficiently and in a customer-friendly manner. They are a reliable, stable and safe partner. We are lucky to have Dematic working with us and Dematic helped lead us into great achievements on the project,” said Distribution Centre Manager Mr Yang Baiyue. 

Optimizing space utilization with mezzanine 

With space at a premium, Dematic utilized a mezzanine to house a low-noise MCS (modular conveyor system), which connects the production line to high speed pop-up belt sorters. 

As goods are produced, they are merged onto a single accumulation MCS before being presented to the high speed sorter. The sorter organizes products in SKUs and batches prior to palletizing. A walking robotic palletizing system is then fed by a 26 lane high speed sorter capable of achieving rates of 700 cartons per hour. 

Integrated finished goods handling and storage 

The fully integrated system uses two robots, shuttle cars and pallet conveyors to send the completed pallets to the ASRS system for storage. The mezzanine frees up sufficient space on the first floor for pallet and carton despatch, as well as infeed and outfeed of raw materials and consumer materials. 

Batch management has been strictly implemented in NCPC in line with Chinese legislation. All products are double scanned, first at sorting and again at palletizing. If scanning fails, the goods will be sent to an end-of-line chute for manual scanning. The double scanning methodology ensures batch integrity from storage through to distribution to individuals.

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