Maximum capacity for chocolates and sweets at Del Conte's new warehouse

Maximum capacity for chocolates and sweets at Del Conte's new warehouse

The Movirack mobile racks will make the most of the available space to store Del Conte's 1,428 pallets

Del Conte

Leading chocolate producer Del Conte has commissioned a new production line to manage increased sales and to expand its market. Thus, it has built a warehouse that will store its packaging and semi-finished products. Mecalux has equipped it with Movirack mobile pallet racking for two specific reasons. On the one hand, they maximise the available surface area to accommodate 1,428 pallets; on the other, they provide direct access to the goods the moment a working aisle is opened. This solution is specially designed and reinforced to absorb all tremors generated by possible earthquakes.

A new facility for delicious chocolate

Founded in 1950, Del Conte is a renowned chocolate producer located in Padua, Italy. For over 70 years, this family business has striven to provide all those who enjoy its bonbons, Easter eggs and chocolate bars with irresistibly sweet moments.

The company uses cutting-edge technology to create its chocolates, which is essential for competing in such a competitive market. Likewise, Del Conte’s sweets — increasingly popular throughout Europe — are the culmination of a careful selection of high-quality cocoa beans mixed with great ability, creativity and passion.

To take on the rise in sales and, at the same time, extend its market, the firm has launched a new production line in its plant in the Italian town of Cittadella. In conjunction with this, the company has opened a new warehouse used to house semi-finished goods and packaging, mainly cardboard boxes for preparing orders.

Del Conte CEO Enrico Cattapan explains, “We needed to optimise the available storage area in order to concentrate in a single space all the diverse products with which we work.” The firm also needed a storage solution that would offer direct access to its many SKUs. Lastly, the racks had to be flexible enough to accommodate pallets with considerably high loads (2.7 m).

With all these requirements on the table, the company contacted Mecalux. In the words of Enrico Cattapan, “What convinced us was its professionalism. And, of course, we liked its proposal.”

Mecalux suggested installing a 7.7-metre-tall Movirack mobile racking unit, as this system would fit Del Conte’s requirements like a glove, adjusting perfectly to the particular physical features of its warehouse. The scalability of this solution clinched the deal, since its storage capacity can be expanded as required.

“The racks have made our logistics processes more flexible: by eliminating aisles, we can place a larger number of pallets in a specific and limited space (up to 1,428 pallets) without forfeiting direct access to them. When a working aisle is opened, workers can access the locations to remove or deposit the goods,”, says the Del Conte CEO.

SKUs are sorted and placed in their corresponding slots, based on size and demand level. Every day, the installation receives pallets with packaging sent by suppliers and pallets with semi-finished goods from production. The operators are tasked with placing all these items in their locations as quickly as possible to, thus, meet production needs without delay.

Simultaneously, pallets (containing packaging or semi-finished goods) are sent to the production lines at just the right time. Direct access to the pallets has sped up operator movements, as it facilitates goods handling.

A completely safe system

Safety is a feature of Movirack mobile pallet racking. “Everything has been taken into account down to the last detail to ensure the integrity of the products, of the employees and of the system itself, while avoiding interruptions to service,” enthuses Enrico Cattapan.

The racks are placed on mobile bases that move both laterally in an autonomous manner when the operator gives the command by remote control. The racks are equipped with motors, sliders, electronic equipment and the following safety systems to guarantee smooth and controlled movements:

  • Exterior barriers: stop the racks from moving when an operator enters the aisle.
  • Interior barriers: detect the presence of objects in the aisle that would prevent the proper operation of the system.
  • Emergency stop buttons: prevent the racks from moving in the event of an incident.
  • Proximity photocells: ensure a smooth, safe stop.

The racks were designed and installed in line with the specifications of the Italian NTC 2008 and European EN 16681 standards. This ensures that the system is duly protected against the perils of being located in an area at risk of seismic movements.

High-density storage with direct access

With Movirack mobile racking, the great throughput potential of the Del Conte warehouse has become a reality. The chocolate producer now has a storage system that leverages the available space to achieve the highest possible capacity. This solution constitutes vital support for the company’s newly operational production line. In merely 480 m2, Del Conte can store 1,428 pallets containing packaging as well as semi-finished products.

As the company’s SKUs are extremely varied, it must manage its stock optimally to avoid mistakes. The direct access facilitates the work of the operators and enables them to perform storage tasks more quickly.

We’re thrilled with the Movirack mobile racking because they more than meet our needs. What we really wanted was to make the most of the space in our new facility to house a larger number of pallets of both packaging and semi-finished products. I should also note that the racks are specially calculated and reinforced to support any earthquake tremors that might occur.

Enrico Cattapan, CEO of Del Conte

Advantages for Del Conte

  • Leveraged space: the Movirack mobile racking optimises the 480 m2 of available surface area to boost the storage capacity. This scalable system can be expanded to house an increased number of pallets.
  • Storage capacity: the racks can accommodate 1,428 pallets, enough for Del Conte to service its production lines.
  • Efficient goods management: despite being a high-density system, Movirack provides direct access to the goods. This was a priority for the business, as it was looking to streamline storage tasks.
Del Conte warehouse
Storage capacity: 1,428 palets
Pallet sizes: 800 x 1,200 mm
Max. pallet weight: 850 kg
Racking height: 7.7 m
Racking length: 32 m

Products used in this project