Cistér: Capacity and high flow of movements

Automation guarantees a high number of goods movements in the shortest possible time

Video transcription

In Portugal, near Lisbon, is the family business Cistér, which specializes in the marketing of canned fruits and vegetables.

Mecalux has equipped this company’s production center with an automatic Pallet Shuttle with transfer cars. The result is a vast amount of storage capacity and an extremely high number of goods movements.

The modernization of the center reflects the company’s desire to optimize its logistics, with the aim of cutting production costs and boosting storage capacity.

The installation contains two racking units measuring 233' long and 62' high.

The deepest channels hold up to 24 pallets, while the shallowest hold eight.

A total of 52 channels comprised of nine levels provide storage capacity for almost 13,000 pallets.

At each level, a transfer car serves the various storage channels, while a motorized shuttle moves inside them.

The Pallet Shuttle with transfer car system multiplies the cycles per hour by the number of levels in the warehouse (nine, in this case). This solution can move 180 pallets per hour, which has shortened time spent on the entry and exit of goods.

The logistics center is controlled by the Easy WMS Warehouse Management System, which streamlines all inflows and outflows, as well as the location of each pallet and its route within the warehouse. With this software, Cistér has managed to speed up its pallet storage and dispatch processes, organize and control its stock more efficiently and increase the number of orders shipped.

At the entry point, a conveyor circuit connects the production plant lines with the automated warehouse.

The pallets leave the plant and arrive at the warehouse, which is located on another site and at a different height.

A conveyor on an inclined platform transports the goods, which are already packed and labeled, to the entry area of the automated warehouse.

Once the pallets have gone through the entry checkpoint, a pallet lift moves them to the level assigned by Easy WMS.

At each level, a transfer car places the motorized shuttle in front of the storage channel designated by the system, and the Pallet Shuttle automatically deposits or retrieves the pallets.

The electric shuttle is equipped with supercapacitors that self-charge while on-board the transfer car; as a result, it is always ready to carry out orders.

Another lift takes the goods down to the dispatch area.

Here, two transfer cars organize and classify the products by route or customer in 18 flow channels, grouped in threes.

Operators collect the goods and deposit them in the trucks for shipment.

In view of Cistér’s growth prospects, the future expansion of the warehouse has also been planned. Thus, when the time comes, two additional racking units with a 10,000-pallet capacity will be installed, in addition to two lifts that will increase the flow of goods.

Thanks to the automation and high-density solutions from Mecalux, Cistér now has a modern and flexible supply chain. As a result, it can offer its customers the best service and maintain the traditional quality it has been providing since 1919.