Mercadona, the Spanish retail company with more than 1,400 supermarkets and a 13.5% share of Spain's total food retail space, has commissioned Finnish robotics specialist Cimcorp to design and implement a fully automated order picking system for fresh produce.
Cimcorp will also take care of the material flow control.
Mercadona is investing in new warehouse technology at its Guadix distribution centre and – in order to achieve improved efficiency and customer satisfaction – the company has awarded Cimcorp the contract to supply the automation system for full-crate picking. The scope of supply includes order-picking robots for fresh fruit and vegetables, as well as for meat products. The total material flow will be controlled by Cimcorp’s warehouse management software, WCS, and Cimcorp will also take care of the installation and start up.
The system, which will start operation once the construction of the new logistics building is finished at the end of 2013, is based on Cimcorp’s ‘order-processing island’ concept. The island is self-sufficient, taking care of goods reception; put-away; location of stored items; retrieval planning; picking of crates; sorting and preparation of crates into discrete orders; and loading of the orders onto transport units ready for delivery.
Commented Markku Vesa, ceo of Cimcorp Oy: “Due to very fast order processing with Cimcorp’s robots, our customers in retail and food & beverage are able to shorten lead times, which is a critical factor for perishable products with limited shelf lives.”
The Finnish firm will also be exhibiting at IMHX, where it will launch its latest innovation for storage and order picking – Cimcorp 3D Shuttle – to the UK market. This new robotic system offers highly efficient storage and retrieval of plastic crates, totes and trays required for goods-to-person order picking and will be demonstrated live on Cimcorp’s stand (17Q127) at the show. Based on proven gantry robot technology, the innovative feature of Cimcorp 3D Shuttle is a shuttle device that is integrated into the gantry to transport required totes back and forth, allowing the robots to return to storage tasks sooner and thereby boosting efficiency. In fact, Cimcorp claims that the solution can make order picking six times more efficient than a manual solution. Suitable for a wide variety of applications, Cimcorp says its 3D Shuttle is 'ideal' for goods-to-person picking in the retail, foodservice (especially HoReCa), e-commerce or parts and components sectors. Visit 3dshuttle.cimcorp.com for more details.