Saint-Gobain & Mecalux: a collaboration synonymous with success

Saint-Gobain & Mecalux: a collaboration synonymous with success

Saint-Gobain has designed a sectored warehouse type that is suitable for any of its maintenance centres

Saint-Gobain logo

Mecalux and the Saint-Gobain technical team have designed a sectored warehouse that is suitable for any of the maintenance centres run by the company in France. The solution consists of combining pallet racking, cantilever racks and various picking solutions.

Collaboration between Saint-Gobain and 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, product and solutions, it focuses on creating safer living spaces and better quality of life.

For the last 40 years, Mecalux has collaborated in the company’s growth by supplying different warehouse systems in countries like Poland, France and Spain. With regards to France, Mecalux has 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 equipped in France by Mecalux accommodate:

  • Pallets of various sizes
  • Oversized products
  • Small parts
  • Tubes and profiles

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 palletised 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.

Cantilever racking

Here long and heavy loads are stored, such as bars, profiles and tubes. The cantilever racks consist of columns and cantilever 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.

Handling equipment

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. Meanwhile, 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 lorries to be shipped out.

Advantages for Saint-Gobain

  • Optimised space: Saint-Gobain warehouses use the available space intelligently, making the most of each square metre 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.

Products used in this project

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