Saint-Gobain & Interlake Mecalux: a collaboration synonymous with success
Saint-Gobain has designed a sectored warehouse type that is suitable for any of its maintenance centres
Interlake Mecalux and the Saint-Gobain technical team have designed a sectored warehouse that is suitable for any of the maintenance centers run by the company in France. The solution consists of combining selective pallet racking, cantilever racks and various picking solutions.
Collaboration between Saint-Gobain and Interlake Mecalux
The Saint-Gobain Group is one of the one hundred largest industrial business groups in the world. It is present in 68 countries, with 170,000 personnel spread throughout more than one-thousand companies.
Its industrial know-how has been evolving since it opened in 1665, making it an icon in energy efficiency. Thanks to its range of new materials, products and solutions, it focuses on creating safer, better quality living spaces. For the last 40 years, Interlake Mecalux has collaborated in the company’s growth by supplying different warehouse systems in countries like Poland, France and Spain.
With regard to France, Interlake Mecalux recently equipped three warehouses for Saint-Gobain in the towns of Atton, Fuveau and Brie-Comte-Robert. Despite having their own idiosyncrasies, they all follow the same structural model that allows Saint-Gobain to work with a very similar sectored type warehouse and flexible, needs-based operations.
The Saint-Gobain warehouses constructed in France by Interlake Mecalux accommodate:
- Pallets of various sizes
- Oversized products
- Small parts
- Tubes and profiles
Maxime Lucas - Manager of Shipping and Logistics Development at Saint-Gobain
“Interlake Mecalux collaborated with Saint-Gobain Distribution Bâtiment France to equip and maintain several of our warehouses.To do so, they have set up made-to-measure storage solutions that adjust to the specificities and requirements of our diverse in-house operations.”
Selective pallet racking
Most of the warehouse surface areas at Saint-Gobain are filled with this storage system. This solution is ideal, keeping in mind the large variety of pallets that the company works with and the simplicity and flexibility this brings.
Additionally, the pallet racks provide direct access to all pallets, for fast-paced merchandise management and order preparation. Wire mesh shelving was placed in the different racking levels, which eases the storage of various sized SKUs and picking tasks.
Picking is carried out directly from the pallets or boxes located on lower rack levels. Upper levels are always allocated to the storage of reserved palletized stock.
Storage of small sized products
Two different storage solutions were opted for with similar operations to store all the smaller sized SKUs Saint-Gobain carries.
- First option: mezzanine above the dock area
Full use was made of potential warehouse height at Brie-Comte-Robert and Fuveau with the installation of a mezzanine just above the loading dock area. This system duplicates the useful surface area and adapts to the company’s needs, in addition to being removable and reusable, which makes it easy to modify its structure, size and location.
- Second option: picking block with walkways
Set up in the warehouse Saint-Gobain runs in Atton, it includes a mezzanine that uses warehouse space at heights to provide two more levels above the ground floor, which triples the useful warehouse surface area. Complete boxes in these racks are extracted to prepare orders.
All the floors are connected by a lift, making it possible for the operators to prepare orders by areas. Moreover, strategically placed staircases improve accessibility and safety in the mezzanine.
Here long and heavy loads are stored, such as bars, profiles and tubes. The cantilever racks consist of columns and arms to rest the loads on.
Moreover, its structure lets goods be placed on one or both sides as needed. The operator, using a side-loading reach truck, has direct access to any location on the racks.
Operators run reach trucks to perform storage work. These machines are suited to load handling in this type of installation. Moreover, their lift capacity makes it possible for them to reach the top of the racks.
Workers operate three types of order picking machines to pick product from the lower levels of the racks: ground level ones, raiseable ones and stackers.
Ground level pickers are responsible for items located on the first shelf or those on the floor. Concurrently, the high reaching order picking equipment facilitates access to the goods deposited on the second and third shelves.
Meanwhile, stackers, other than being allocated to picking tasks, are also used to replenish the first few levels of the racks with reserve products stored in top locations. Thus, the pallet is raised to the most comfortable height for the worker.
Consolidation, dispatch and reception area
The Saint-Gobain warehouses have a wide area in front of the loading docks where the reception and dispatch of goods are carried out on the warehouse floor.
Once orders are consolidated, they accumulate in the preloads zone before the operators shift them to the transport and distribution trucks to be shipped out.
Advantages for Saint-Gobain
- Optimized space: Saint-Gobain warehouses use the available space intelligently, making the most of each square foot with operations that contribute to better installation throughput.
- Diversification: thanks to the installed solutions the company can store a huge variety of products of different sizes and weights.
- A “model” warehouse: this warehouse design is suited to any of the maintenance warehouses of Saint-Gobain, which entails time and cost savings.