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Mercadona’s frozen food warehouse in Guadix quickly reaches 100 percent performance thanks to WITRON technology

Ramp-up at Mercadona’s frozen food distribution center in Guadix was completed within eight weeks despite the Covid-19 pandemic.

Image: WITRON

Seven COM machines pick up to 50,000 cases fully automatically per day.

Image: WITRON

The ramp-up of the new automated frozen food warehouse of the Spanish food retailer Mercadona in Guadix (Granada, Spain), was carried out on time by WITRON. This is especially impressive as the construction and implementation of the project had to be executed in the midst of the most difficult phase of the Covid-19 pandemic, with all the well-known constraints and conditions. All of this presented organizational and logistical challenges. Nevertheless, the productive ramp-up of the frozen food warehouse was successfully completed after only eight weeks and within the contractually agreed time frame.

Thanks to the efficient cooperation between the project teams of both companies, it was possible to carry out extensive operational and load tests before the productive start. As a result, the intended system performance was achieved just four weeks after the first store was supplied - and this in the middle of the summer season, with constantly growing throughput volumes of the system, which is designed for almost 50,000 cases per day.

The distribution center in Guadix is already the sixth fully automated frozen food warehouse that WITRON has designed and implemented for Mercadona. Other sites are located in Madrid, Valencia, León, Barcelona, and Vitoria. Seven COM machines are implemented over an area of approx. 18,000 square meters. Furthermore, an automated high bay warehouse with 7,000 pallet locations as well as a tray AS/RS with 62,000 locations are located in front of the COMs. In addition, pallets from a bread factory in an adjacent building can be stored directly in the automatic pallet warehouse via conveyor network.

The new system currently supplies more than 170 Mercadona stores in Andalusia. In total, almost 950 Mercadona stores already receive their frozen goods through fully automated WITRON solutions. This represents more than 60 percent of the total stores of the leading Spanish food retailer. Since the first automated Mercadona logistics center in Madrid was put into productive use more than 15 years ago, the OPM technology has significantly improved workstation ergonomics in the distribution centers - as well as efficiency and cost effectiveness in all logistics processes.

WITRON's OPM technology is considered the most successful fully automated case order picking system worldwide in food retail logistics. WITRON solutions supply more than 100 million people daily with food and many important everyday necessities via 35,000+ stores or online.