Mecalux has build an automated clad-rack warehouse with over 49,000 ft2 for Cepsa

The new automated warehouse is one of the largest investments made by Cepsa’s lubricants business

Video transcription

Cepsa’s highest-producing refinery in Spain is located in Algeciras, Cádiz. This is an impressive facility, covering more than 370 acres.

Within the complex, we find the production and packaging facility for lubricants and oils, where Mecalux has built an automated rack supported warehouse that connects the lubricant packaging area with the dispatch area... and all within the space already occupied by the packaging plant and without interrupting the normal work cycle at any time.

Stéphane Barthélémy - Operations Manager of Cepsa Lubricants
The new automated warehouse is one of the largest investments made by Cepsa’s lubricants business. We have found Mecalux to be the ideal partner, and the results are truly excellent... we have now successfully integrated our production, packaging, and dispatch processes within a single installation.

ALBERT FORÉS - Sales Manager - Mecalux Group Robotics Division
One of the most difficult parts was having to demolish 25% of the existing plant without affecting production.

The result is an automated rack supported warehouse with 7 stacker cranes and double-depth racks with 18 load levels.

With over 49,000 ft2 and a capacity for nearly 27,000 pallets, this warehouse enables the secure, uninterrupted flow of goods from the entry into the plant of the empty drums and containers, all the way to the dispatch of orders to customers.

Stéphane Barthélémy - Operations Manager of Cepsa Lubricants
The construction of the new automated rack supported warehouse has provided us with a whole range of advantages. It has allowed us to improve our manufacturing processes, facilitate and streamline our dispatches and deliveries of customer orders and ensure the traceability of all our processes.

The entrance to the finished product warehouse is located in the packaging zone.

The containers are brought onto this floor on a conveyor system from an adjacent factory. The most commonly-used container sizes are 33, 135 and 169 ounces, 5-gallon metal drums and, 264-gallon containers.

The mixers fill the containers with the corresponding type of lubricant. Next, each container is properly labelled to ensure traceability.

Depending on their size, they are deposited directly into boxes or onto pallets for proper storage.

Once on the conveyors, the identification station checks the status of the pallets and ensures they comply with the established standards.

From here, two transfer cars transport the pallets to the points of entry into the warehouse.

Once there, stacker cranes collect them and store them in the best available location.

Another feature of this warehouse is that it can also manage and store raw materials and empty pallets. Entries into the warehouse of these products are carried out in the dispatch area.

To manage the high production volume at the Cepsa lubricants plant, which is around 190,400 tons per year, this warehouse has 7 stacker cranes with telescopic forks that place the goods on double-depth racks on 18 load levels

The Mecalux stacker cranes travel at a speed of 656 feet per minute and can perform 168 combined cycles per hour, thereby speeding up loading and unloading operation.

This warehouse has a number of major safety measures. Access to the warehouse is done through one of 7 working aisles, each with an automatic fire door. In addition, the warehouse offers strategically located fire-retardant curtains.

Mecalux's Easy WMS warehouse management software allocates the optimal location to each pallet, achieving perfect stock control and maximizing storage capacity.

The picking area also has a transfer car to manage the high flows of goods. Pneumatic arms allow operators to handle the load effortlessly, facilitating the movement of heavier loads and speeding up the process as a whole.

Mecalux's Easy WMS warehouse management software also controls this process and enables inverse picking to be performed, thus accelerating order preparation times.

Lastly, orders ready for dispatch are placed in the output channels and grouped by route, vehicle, customer, delivery note, or any other given feature, before being loaded onto the trucks parked in the loading docks.

Stéphane Barthélémy - Operations Manager of Cepsa Lubricants
Mecalux is a good partner and, thanks to them, we have achieved our goal, which was to build a versatile installation, an installation that will allow us to handle a very broad range of different products... In finished products alone we manage over 1,700 SKUs. We have achieved this goal thanks to the collaboration of Mecalux.

The result of this collaboration between Mecalux and Cepsa is an excellent example of integration and automation which, as well as reducing environmental impact, has succeeded in increasing the safety, efficiency, and profitability of all the processes.