Mercadona has ordered automated intralogistics systems from Cimcorp for four of its distribution centers – Zaragoza, San Isidro, Huévar and Sagunto – and now the first one, in Zaragoza, is up and running.
Installation and commissioning at the Zaragoza distribution center was finalized just before Easter, which is always the busiest time of the year for Mercadona. One might assume that Spain’s leading grocery retailer would want the installation team to stay on site – in case of any issues – but trust in Cimcorp’s automation is so high that the Mercadona team decided to fly solo.
Javier Blasco, Warehouse Purchasing Coordinator for Mercadona, says: “Our goal is to serve the orders of our stores with the highest possible quality, and we must know how to do it on our own. We had the confidence do to it this way, because the robustness and reliability of this solution had been verified during assembly and commissioning, and our staff are trained to use it.” The simplicity of the automation makes it easy to use and there is no need for a big team.
Mercadona has ordered the same automation for four of its distribution centers. All four of the new logistics facilities will have different climate zones for packed meat products and for fruit and vegetables.
Using the same independent automation modules and scaling the amount of modules to meet the capacity needs of each individual logistics center, Mercadona gets many benefits. “Having modular solutions has advantages, such as all personnel knowing the installation regardless of which city it is in. Additionally, the solutions can be scaled up and the processes standardized more easily,” says Javier Blasco, continuing, “The best part has been the sturdiness of the application; we haven’t had operational surprises with real orders and we’ve been able to provide a guaranteed service to our stores.”
Lifetime learning leads to partnerships
Last year provided many obstacles, but professional project management ensured the installation was ready on schedule and, most of all, respected the safety regulations. Jarkko Hakkarainen, General Manager of Cimcorp Iberia, says, “It is important that we are able to keep things in order even if things are not proceeding as planned. In these situations, quick response time and good adaptability are essential skills.”
Cimcorp supplied automation to Mercadona back in 2013, when it implemented a fully automated order picking system for fresh produce at the retailer’s DC in Guadix, near Granada. However the now finalized installation in the Zaragoza distribution center is the first time that Cimcorp has acted as system integrator for the leading Spanish company.
Jarkko Hakkarainen says, “Designing optimal handling and control systems is only the first step in implementing intralogistics automation. Project management is a hugely important element in the successful delivery of robotic solutions, but also in developing long-term partnerships.”
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