Modern distribution and sorting centers have to be precise and faster

STAMH with a new project for PHOENIX Pharma - a combination of tailor-made storage systems and fast and economical, new generation conveyor lines

Phoenix Pharma has more than 23 years of experience in the pharmaceutical market in Bulgaria. The company is part of the PHOENIX Pharma Pharmahandel Aktiengesellschaft & Co KG group, with headquarters in Mainheim, Germany. It’s the largest pharmaceutical wholesaler in Germany and the second largest distributor of pharmaceutical products in Europe.

For its latest project – the modernization of an existing distribution center in Bulgaria -  the company chose STAMH - the leader in warehouses systems, storage technologies and material handling in Central and Eastern Europe.

PHONIX Pharma counts on more than 153 distribution centers in Germany and many sorting centers in Eastern Europe. In Germany, PHONIX Pharma's has to deliver goods and prepare orders for more than 12,000 pharmacies. This requires extremely fast and efficient intralogistics strategies, fast and reliable picking, and precise orders preparation.

One of the main challenges for the STAMH engendering team for this project was the optimization of the storage space. STMAH professionals had to accelerate new orders assembling with faster picking operations, bring better organization and better zones distribution for the operators in the warehouse.

Other important goals, related to warehouse automation, was the significant reduction of manual work, the reduction of walking distances for each operator and the reduction of time, needed to search items and SKU’s in the warehouse – ordered by the pharmacies.

Regarding storage space optimization – STAMH engendered and installed an entirely new Storage System, a combination of three different solutions offered by the company – Carton Flow Gravity Racks – for faster picking and better sorting, Mito Racking Systems – suitable for lighter pharmaceutical products and Conventional Storage Systems for heavier palletized products.

In addition, Phoenix Pharma required STAMH to make the preliminary measuring activities and to install new systems, without interrupting all operations in the working sorting centers – new orders kept coming to the distributor.

The STAMH engineering team focused on storage density, fast picking operations and better and precise sorting. Sometimes with more than 10 orders per minute, the PHOENIX Pharma distribution center needed more automated processes to prepare orders quickly, efficiently and without errors.

“As you may see, storage activities and order preparation had to be done simultaneously in a very synchronized way” - shares Eng. Rumen Hristov form STAMH.

All new systems in the PHONIX Pharma warehouse was organized in a way that each operator had a precisely defined function and work area. This way, each request for a set of pharmaceutical products is now prepared much faster and more efficiently. Less resources are used, and the distribution center can now meet market requirements faster.

To optimize the intralogistics strategy for orders preparation and the numerous requests, STAMH engendering team implemented a high technology system of motorized and non-motorized conveyor lines.



The Conveyor System was a combination of different solutions. Two types of conveyors were installed near the lower part of the Carton Flow Gravity Shelving System, facilitating thus the picking operations, carried by the operators in the warehouse. This system significantly reduced the distance, travelled by each operator for each picking operation.

Gravity Racking System allows single daily or weekly loading from one side and constant picking and orders preparation from the other side of the rack. Stored goods located in the front part of the rack are always available for picking and sorting. Trays travel on conveyor lines in front of the racking system, facilitating the work of each operator.

The motorized Conveyors System significantly reduced the trays traveling times. The need of manual transportation practically disappeared.

STAMH’s engineering team use to recommend modular solutions. This way, distribution and sorting centers can make systems modifications and adapt to the changing market conditioned and requirements.

The Modular Conveyor System integrates lifting conveyor modules. Elevating a conveyor module allows the free circulation of operators and material handling machines in the warehouse so storage and picking processes can be performed simultaneously. The lifted module doesn’t stop the functioning of the rest of the system. Operators, machines, and conveyor systems work together in a synchronized way.



In next-generation conveyor systems, each electrical engine moves one of the rolls. This roll is connected to the rest of the rolls with belts. All conveyor modules are interconnected via a digital network. On one hand, the whole system can operate continuously. On the other hand, individual modules can move and stop separately. This way your business saves energy, gains exceptional flexibility, and reduces roller tear wear, increasing the useful life of each conveyor module.

Of course, individual modules in the system are controlled by microcomputers. They are contacted via Profinet in an Ethernet network. Individual controllers communicate between them – an IOT technology, allowing the automated synchronized functioning of the entire system.

Rumen Hristov from STAMH shares - “The conveyor system connects different storage spaces, accelerates picking operations, goes and stops automatically and in a very intuitive way speeds up all the processes in the warehouse.

Operators do not have to carry the trays. They are organized in different zones and the number of manual tasks is very reduced. Now, the orders to Phoenix Pharma are prepared much faster, almost without errors and much faster.

Thanks to the STAMH engineering team, distribution and sorting centers can prepare orders much faster, giving the best answers to the increasing market requirements”.