Major AstraZeneca project completed

Above: The secondary packing line in the global packing centre at AstraZeneca’s Hurdsfield, Macclesfield site

The £50 million project to upgrade and future-fit the warehousing, packing and logistics facilities at AstraZeneca’s Hurdsfield, Macclesfield site has been completed.

The project involved full design, construction and commissioning of a new high bay warehouse, a low bay warehouse refurbishment and a technically-demanding Global Packing Centre.

Co-ordinated to enable business-as-usual operations for AstraZeneca, the project was carried out over a four-year period and involved more than one million man-hours.

The new high bay warehouse will provide a fully-automated storage facility to enable increased pharmaceutical stock holding and capacity for future expansion. The 18,000 sq m, 30m high VNA (very narrow aisle) facility incorporates complex air handling engineering to maintain mission-critical temperature and relative humidity parameters and ensure consistent airflow for all racking throughout the building.

The final phase comprises nine Grade D packing cells adjoining a common secondary packing space, along with wash bay, tool store and associated office accommodation. Stringent air pressure regimes have been engineered into the facility to restrict microbial and particulate contamination, with air locks employed to eliminate cross-contamination.

Christine Haigh, senior engineering project manager, AstraZeneca said: “This has been an extremely challenging project, and by working in partnership with (main contractors) BES, we have delivered a modern, forward-looking warehousing and packing facility to programme and cost with no unplanned business interruption and an excellent safety performance. For now and the foreseeable future, this facility will benefit patients all over the world who depend on AstraZeneca’s life-changing medicines.”

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