The new Groupe Rand distribution centre, a leading French costume jewellery maker, stands out for it adaptability and productivity in order picking

The new Groupe Rand distribution centre, a leading French costume jewellery maker, stands out for it adaptability and productivity in order picking

Groupe Rand multiplies its efficiency with an automated warehouse for boxes with put-to-light devices and the Easy WMS

Groupe Rand

The Groupe Rand distribution centre in Longueil Sainte Marie (France) stands out for its picking flexibility and agility. The installation supplied by Mecalux consists of an automated miniload warehouse with a storage capacity of more than 15,300 boxes, pallet racking and racks with put-to-light devices. These classify the merchandise of several orders at a time, without errors stemming from manual management.

About Groupe Rand
This leading family business, who manufactures and sells jewellery and fashion accessories, is based in the heart of Paris (France).

Its popular private label products are distributed in more than 7,000 retail outlets located throughout 11 countries. The company has more than 500 employees who strive to enlarge the business and develop new products, combining experience and tradition with innovation. Its pioneering vision and its high level of excellence have led Groupe Rand to be the leading French designer of costume jewellery, distributed in department stores and small shops.

The distribution centre

The Groupe Rand distribution centre occupies more than 6,000 m2 and is mainly allocated to picking. To maximise operational throughput, merchandise is organised and classified according to the most appropriate storage system in terms of its dimensions and level of demand.

On one side of the installation are the pallet racks, where they house the large volume goods and reserve consumer products. It is a system with direct access to the pallets, which provides great vitality when managing the merchandise and preparing orders.

On the lower levels, picking is done directly from the pallets. Mecalux has also supplied an automated warehouse for boxes for smaller products and three picking stations. Directly opposite, there are five aisles with short shelving units on either side.


The automated warehouse for boxes comprises three aisles with double-depth racks on both sides that measure 43 m long, 9 m high and have 15 levels.

Double-mast miniload stacker cranes move along each aisle, tasked with managing the inputs and outputs of the goods. These machines operate at a travel speed of 250 m/min and 90 m/min when elevated.

The miniload incorporates a double box extraction system in its cradle, able to handle two boxes at the same time and even access the second position of each location. It has a fork and two moving joists that can pick the boxes up either from one side of the aisle or the other.

At the rear of the warehouse, space has been set up to perform maintenance work. The stacker cranes are sent there when they require any sort of intervention or repair. This area is sectioned off via safety access doors, which prevent unauthorised personnel from entering.

The warehouse is ready for future expansion. There is enough space to install another aisle, taking into account the needs and possible growth of Groupe Rand.

At the front of the automated warehouse are three picking stations where the orders are prepared according to product-to-person principle, in other words, the stacker cranes take the merchandise directly to the operators. To do this, they place the boxes on the conveyors, which automatically leads to the picking stations.

Although there are currently three picking stations, the installation of three more is planned, which will lead to faster picking.

Very efficient picking

Once the conveyors have moved the boxes to the picking stations, operators consult a monitor to see what quantity of products must be removed and put them into handcarts.

Operators go to the shelves behind them to distribute the products into the boxes that comprise each order. It is a grouped picking system: several orders are put together at the same time, in the same trip.

Each picking station is assigned a certain number of operators and locations, which can be modified (added or reduceed) depending on the demand. Besides, this solution allows for optimised movements and avoids mixing orders.

On the racks, each location is equipped with a display that illuminates and shows the number of required items. The operators walk the aisles while placing the products in the boxes signalled by the put-to-light devices, then press the indicator to confirm that they have performed the action.

Consolidation and dispatch area
Finished orders are removed from the racks and moved to the consolidation zone, consisting of prep tables with computer terminals, scales, sealing and labelling machines.

Here is where the contents of the boxes are verified and the packing, labeling and issuing of the necessary shipping documents take place.

On one side of the automated warehouse are two conveyors for replenishment work. One of them provides empty boxes so that the operators fill them with the merchandise and in the other, right next to this, the completed and addressed boxes are inserted into the automated warehouse.

Easy WMS and Galileo
Mecalux's Easy WMS warehouse management software is a fundamental element that guarantees the correct picking of orders.

This is a very robust system, which performs different operations, including the appropriation of locations and box storage, goods extraction and order preparation. The software identifies the products, allocates an order in each location and tells the operators where to place the merchandise. The installation throughput increases and errors are minimised by providing accurate sorting of products.

The Easy WMS of Mecalux is in permanent and bi-directional communication with the Groupe Rand ERP, transferring data for maximum productivity and picking yields.

Advantages for Groupe Rand

  • A fully used surface: on a 700 m2 area, Groupe Rand's automated miniload warehouse tops out storage capacity with more than 15,300 boxes.
  • Efficient picking: the high degree of automation and the optimal organisation of the warehouse, as well as the flexibility they provide to picking stations, let orders be prepared very quickly and accurately.
  • Vision for the future: the installation has future enlargements planned, taking into account the increase in sales and the company's expansion.
The Groupe Rand distribution centre
Storage capacity: 15,312 boxes
Box size: 600 x 400 mm
Max. weight per box: 50 kg
Racking height: 9 m
Aisle length: 43 m

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