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In early June, the Spanish supermarket chain Mercadona decided to adopt the fully automated warehouse and picking system OPM (Order Picking Machinery), supplied by general contractor Witron Logistik + Informatik GmbH from Parkstein in Germany, for its fresh and frozen foods sections at its Leon site.
Witron had already been commissioned to introduce the OPM system for dry-range picking at this site back in December 2008. The distribution centre in Leon supplies goods to 177 stores on a daily basis.
In March 2011, the fully automated OPM system will be up and running. 108,000 trade units a day will be picked in a store-friendly manner from a range of approximately 1,100 fresh, frozen and perishable products using 13 COM machines. The trade units will be supplied to the COM machines via a 26-aisle tray warehouse divided into three temperature zones (minus 23 degrees, plus 2 degrees and plus 12 degrees Celsius). Replenishment will be carried out from a pallet high bay warehouse with 8,800 storage locations.
In addition to OPM, Mercadona will be using Witrons world-first ATS (Automated Tote System) for highly dynamic, fully automated whole tote picking. With this solution, more than 100,000 totes a day are faultlessly picked from a range of approximately 330 fresh articles, such as various fruit and vegetables, meat or fresh products, then stacked onto order pallets in a store-friendly manner and dispatched. The 16-aisle tote ASW with 29,000 storing positions is divided into two independent temperature zones (plus 2 degrees and plus 12 degrees).
Use of the ATS results in a significant optimisation of all processes, as is the case with OPM, the entire intralogistical material flow can be processed automatically.
In the future, through outlet orders delivered on half or whole pallets and placed together directly in the HBW using stacker cranes, as well as through the picking of a further 10,000 trade units from a small manual warehouse, almost 220,000 trade units a day will leave the state-of-the-art logistics centre for fresh and frozen articles .
The supermarket chain Mercadona, with its turnover of EUR 15.379 billion, has forged a very successful partnership with Witron that dates back to 2004. Once the project in Leon has been commissioned, this will take the number of WITRON COM machines in operation in the dry-range, fresh and frozen sections of the five Mercadona distribution centres to 111. The projects realised jointly to date are a clear indication of client satisfaction and proof of the cost-efficiency, flexibility and high availability of the WITRON technology used.