Cofan - A logistics icon among companies working with multiple SKUs

The centre, designed and implemented by Mecalux, has provided Cofan with streamlined warehouse work flows, allowing it to offer a one-day delivery service to its customers.

Video transcription

Ciudad Real, Spain, is home to the Cofan logistics centre, a company with over 15 years’ experience in the industrial supply, hardware and DIY sector.

The centre, designed and implemented by Mecalux, has provided Cofan with streamlined warehouse work flows, allowing it to offer a one-day delivery service to its customers.

Venancio Alberca (General Director at Cofan)
When we decided to implement a logistics system, like the one we have here at Cofan, we had a number of questions and requirements in mind that we needed solved. One has to do with the diversity of products we carry, of various sizes and characteristics. Another is about the different product turnovers, ranging from items with a high turnover to others with a low one. From this initial plan, Mecalux began to shape the project, developing it based on product logistics. The result is evident today in our installations: modern facilities where we have the low turnover products located in the automated miniload warehouse, average turnover products in the picking area and consumer goods in another area we have set aside to prepare orders with automatic order pickers.

The warehouse is divided into five main areas linked through a circuit conveyor that runs through the warehouse from the entrance to the exit.

At the beginning of the circuit, four box forming machines set up boxes and place them on the conveyors. These machines stock the picking area with four types of boxes that are combined, depending on the product volume.

Once assembled, the boxes circulate on the conveyor circuit up to the central picking area. In this area, there are six large capacity rolling tables enabled for the preparation of orders by zones. Operators on both sides of the conveyor belts receive boxes and place the product allocated to each order.

Replenishment of picking shelves is carried out from pallet racking placed on both sides of this picking area.

The boxes automatically move past the various tables that contain the product for each order. Operators, using prep carts, walk the aisles collecting the SKUs the WMS tells them to via radio frequency terminals.

If the order is completed, the conveyor automatically moves it to the end of the circuit; if it is not complete, the boxes move to the next picking station.

Venancio Alberca (General Director at Cofan)
Warehouse personnel now work in a much more user-friendly manner. They don't have to travel long distances to complete a package because it is the package that moves, till it is finished at the end of the line. Then, it is automatically closed up and dispatched using the assigned transport agency.

Beside the central picking zone is the automated warehouse for boxes, which supplies small-sized and low demand products.

The fully automated miniload warehouse has three aisles, each with a stacker crane that moves serving 19 storage levels. This warehouse has a total capacity of almost 15,000 boxes.

The Mecalux Galileo software is responsible for controlling the movements the stacker cranes carry out.

The miniload installation has a closed circuit that transports boxes to the various picking stations.

Following the orders of the management system, operators take the products and introduce them into the corresponding boxes.

After completing the order, operators validate the box so it can continue on its way through the rest of the circuit.

Beyond the automated warehouse for boxes, continuing along the same conveyor circuit, boxes arrive at the sensitive materials area, which is separated from the remainder of the warehouse by fire resistant walls due to the flammable nature of these products.

Leaving the sensitive products warehouse behind, the boxes travel a short distance to the consolidation zone, which controls and validates the weight of the goods. If it is not suitable, the box is rejected by the system and diverted to an aisle to be rearranged.

Finally, the goods originating from the distinct parts of the warehouse reach the sorting area, where the order is sealed and labelled for distribution.

The final part of the circuit is equipped with a sorter connected to the warehouse management software, which distributes the goods into the five live channels for their subsequent dispatch.

The Cofan centre is a logistics icon among companies working with multiple SKUs.

Logistics remodelling of the centre has enabled the company to reduce operating costs and achieve its goal of offering a one-day delivery service to its customers.