Roboticized warehouse with more than 1,000 pallet dispatches a day

Roboticized warehouse with more than 1,000 pallet dispatches a day

Laboratorios Maverick’s rack-supported warehouse is fitted with cutting-edge technology and runs the Mecalux Easy WMS

Roboticized warehouse with more than 1,000 pallet dispatches a day

By being fully-automated operations-wise, Laboratorios Maverick’s rack-supported warehouse was able to cut order prep and delivery times by half, optimizing each truck’s load volume. The warehouse, set up next to the production center the company has in Tarragona (Spain), is fitted with cutting-edge technology and runs the Mecalux Easy WMS.

  • Pictures
  • Technical Specifications
    AS/RS warehouse of Laboratorios Maverick
    Pallet size: 32" x 48"
    Max. pallet weight: 1.1 t
    Rack height: 87'
    Aisle length: 230'
    Storage levels: 14
    No. of stacker cranes: 3
    Automated warehouse of Laboratorios Maverick - Selective pallet rack
    Pallet size: 32" x 48"
    Max. pallet weight: 1.1 t
    Rack height: 26'
    Storage levels: 4
    Automated warehouse for Laboratorios Maverick - Pallet flow racks with stacker crane
    Pallet size: 24" x 32"
    Max. weight four stacked pallets: 1.38 t
    Rack height: 29'
    Storage levels: 3
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Laboratorios Maverick (Ubesol Group)

Laboratorios Maverick, founded in 1991, is a specialist in the development and manufacture of hygiene and personal care products.

Since 1995, it has worked as an exclusive Mercadona supplier and makes a huge variety of eco-friendly, socially responsible products, including: bath gels, deodorants, hand soaps, hair-removal and shaving products, intimate hygiene, other hygiene and hair care products, as well as baby care products. The company has two large manufacturing centers, one in San Fernando de Henares (Madrid) and another in Ulldecona (Tarragona).

Since Laboratorios Maverick’s 2006 merger into the Ubesol Group, its yearly sales volume has multiplied at a constant rate, surpassing the 2,260-million-dollar turnover mark. Continued growth has forced the Ubesol Group to modernize the Tarragona area plant and warehouse of Laboratorios Maverick, to fulfill consumer demands and maintain its position in an ever globalizing, ever competitive market. In 2007, Ubesol Group chose Mecalux to build a seven-aisle AS/RS clad-rack warehouse, meaning the group quadrupled its Ubesol storage capacity, located in Atzeneta d’Abaida (Valencia, Spain).

A few years later, in 2014, it was Laboratorios Maverick’s turn, when it opened its roboticized logistics warehouse, where it sharpened its production processes’ competitive edge and efficiency.

Combined solutions

Although the highlight of Laboratorios Maverick’s facility is the massive automated rack-supported warehouse, other storage solutions were also installed that are just as essential for the whole logistics process to run smoothly:

  1. AS/RS rack-supported warehouse for finished products.
  2. Pallet racks for raw materials and highly-flammable products.
  3. Pallet flow racks run by a stacker crane allocated to prepared orders.
  4. Sequencing buffer for pallets that must be restacked automatically to optimize the volumetric capacity of transportation vehicles.

In tandem, handling equipment was supplied (stacker cranes, pallet lifts, transfer cars, etc.) and the Easy WMS of Interlake Mecalux rolled out. “The logistics center is equipped with a computer system that runs 24-hours a day, all year round,” explains Hugo Marante, departmental operations coordinator of Laboratorios Maverick. “Data transmission flows through a sophisticated high-speed fiber-optics network and includes infrastructures that minimize downtimes,” he adds.

Hugo Marante - Departmental Operations Coordinator at Laboratorios Maverick
“Through this new warehouse, we automated our storage tasks and reduced the time we normally needed to prepare and distribute each order. All of which translates into better, more efficient logistics for our company.”

AS/RS rack-supported warehouse

Finished product is stored here. As a rack-supported construction, the warehouse yields high capacity without losing access or speed while goods flow in and out. The company went with a compact storage system because its main customer Mercadona (the largest Spanish supermarket chain) works with very few SKUs, but an unusually high number of these palletized SKUs.

Palletized goods include bottled gels, shampoos and creams that are stored as per the ABC rotation criteria.

The warehouse fills a 41,742 ft2 area which adds to Laboratorios Maverick’s 8.15 acres of manufacturing facilities. It is comprised of racks that stand 87' high, with 14 different load levels for storage.

Inside the warehouse, three 230' long aisles were enabled for a twin-mast MT3 stacker crane to run along. Each stacker crane, capable of 24 simultaneous combined-cycles each hour, is supplemented by a shuttle that transports pallets up to the open position in the aisle, as indicated by the Easy WMS warehouse management software.

According to Hugo Marante, “to optimize the AS/RS’s operations, management systems were integrated into all processes (manufacturing, quality, storage and dispatch) in a single platform.”

Pallet racks: raw materials and flammable products

Raw materials to make products are stored next to the automated warehouse in some selective pallet racks, as well as the packaging and auxiliary materials.

Another zone inside the manufacturing plant houses pallets filled with highly-flammable products, like aerosols used in deodorants and hair sprays. Laboratorios Maverick complies with the specific standards that certify that its work area, as well as the operation of the handling equipment, have been devised, utilized and maintained with respect to all safety criteria dealing with flammable products.

Overall, 45 blocks of 26' high pallet racks were installed, featuring fourteen storage levels.

Sequencing buffer for the full-pallet stacker

The sequencing buffer, connected to the automated warehouse, is set between the standard pallet racks and some pallet flow racks allocated to finished orders. It comprises a conveyor circuit and functions as storage for pallets that must be stacked.

The sequencing buffer also receives pallets from the CPS (Chemical Product Storage), so these pallets can be stacked during order preparation.

Pallet flow racks served by a stacker crane for finished orders

Here, the company houses finished orders waiting and ready to be shipped out. With three levels of storage, the pallet flow racks can absorb up to 88 incoming pallets per hour flowing either from the sequencing buffer (conveyor circuit full pallet stacker), or the AS/RS.

The high-performance single-mast stacker crane with an onboard roller conveyor inserts pallets into the pallet flow channels (on a 4% incline), which facilitates the pallets’ gravity displacement from the higher to the lower part.

Pallet flow racks offer precise product rotations thanks to the FIFO system (the first pallet inserted into the channel is the first to be extracted).

The side of the pallet flow racks where pallet inputs and outputs take place coincides with the dispatch area. With this setup, trucks can be loaded directly from the racks without any need for pre-loading maneuvers.

The Easy WMS combines pallets coming directly out of the AS/RS with pallets in the sequencing buffer to make up orders and, by doing so, optimizes truck volumes. Grouping and sequencing goods for shipments according to their route, truck, customer, delivery order and other variables reduces dispatch times.

ADVANTAGES FOR LABORATORIOS MAVERICK

  • More capacity in less space: the AS/RS for pallets offers the highest storage capacity possible in only 41,742 ft2.
  • 30 minute orders: the automation of logistics processes means Laboratorios Maverick can prepare an order in just a half an hour, cutting task times by more than half.
  • Efficient management: the Easy WMS manages and organizes all operations being carried out inside the warehouse, reducing logistics costs, minimizing errors and raising the bar on efficiency and order preparation productivity. These benefits have led to the load volume optimization of each transportation vehicle.
AS/RS warehouse of Laboratorios Maverick
Pallet size: 32" x 48"
Max. pallet weight: 1.1 t
Rack height: 87'
Aisle length: 230'
Storage levels: 14
No. of stacker cranes: 3

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