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Teva Pharma Japan

Streamlining small-lot order preparation

rack side picking

Teva Pharma Japan Inc. is a Japanese subsidiary of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., which holds the highest world-market share of generic medicines. Teva Pharma Japan built a new distribution center at their Takayama plant to meet the rapidly increasing market demands for generic medicines.

Two major types of products are shipped from this center:

  • Products manufactured in large lots under contract
  • Products delivered in small lots under Teva's private brand names
  • One main challenge during distribution center planning was how to efficiently distribute small-lot products, expected to be in higher demand in the future, but which currently require complicated processing.

    Daifuku's solution


    1. 1.Improve handling capacity for small-lot orders
    2. 2.Improve handling efficiency of small-lot orders
    3. 3.Increase storage capacity


    1. 1.Picking system with automatic replenishment built to handle increased small-lot deliveries without adding more workers
    2. 2.Pallet AS/RS built to increase storage capacity

    The new distribution center needs to deliver small-lot products to about 200 affiliated distributors and wholesalers (350 destinations in total) all over Japan. To complete all of these orders, the center needs more room to store products.

    To meet these requirements, a piece picking and replenishment system consisting of a mini-load AS/RS, gravity rack, and pick-to-light display was installed. A pallet AS/RS was also installed. Even after a 40% increase in work volume, Teva Pharma Japan has been able to complete scheduled shipments without adding any workers or increasing operation hours.

    storage into AS/RS
    Pallet AS/RS with four stacker cranes stores 5850 pallets. When combined with the adjacent Rackbuil System, total storage capacity is 9690 pallets.
    Seven automatic guided vehicles transport products between the plant and the distribution center.

    Customer's Voice

    Kazuyuki Murata
    Director & Plant Manager

    The revised Pharmaceutical Affairs Act allows us to deliver not only brand name products, but also contract-manufacturing products directly to wholesalers and distributors. With the new delivery center, we can speed up distribution of small-lot products that will have increased demand in the future, and provide higher quality service to our customers.