DECASA: High throughput picking and storage

The DECASA logistics centre features a wide variety of solutions: an automated clad-rack warehouse, the semi-automatic Pallet Shuttle, multi-level picking towers for pallets and boxes, a sorter, etc.

Video transcription

DECASA, a company dedicated to the distribution of consumer products, is located in the Mexican state of Veracruz. Their logistics centre has been designed and set up by Mecalux.

The result is a cutting-edge logistics complex, which combines management, efficiency and speed in its processes, and is noted for a high picking throughput, an essential solution for a company that manages more than 7,000 products.

We wanted a cost-effective system that would help us manage the processes within our supply chain and allow us to expand into the south-east of the country, with the opening of our new branch in Veracruz.

We compared several storage solution suppliers and chose Mecalux. They offered a comprehensive system that would manage the large number of SKUs we carry and, also, that could handle the enormous amount of stock in our warehouse.

The warehouse combines different systems. The first zone is the location of the automated warehouse and the high-density Pallet Shuttle system. Adjacent to this is the picking area with multi-level bays and the sorter.

The goods enter through the loading docks and are positioned in a stacking area awaiting placement.

The DECASA automated warehouse is a 34 metre high by 68 metre long clad-rack structure, with a capacity for 28,000 pallets.

It has two stacker cranes serving the eight aisles that comprise the warehouse.

That small number of stacker cranes results in significant cost savings, and all due to the transfer bridge.

The transfer bridge is in charge of moving the stacker cranes from one aisle to another.

The stacker crane is placed and anchored on the bridge, which then moves sideways to the assigned aisle where the transfer will take place.

This solution is used in warehouses where the turnover of goods is not very high, but the storage volume is.

This transfer bridge helps us move the stacker cranes to each of the aisles. This maximises the storage volume, optimising costs related to the running of a clad-rack installation, so it is a more cost-effective solution in the end.


Both the input and output of goods take place at the front of the automated warehouse.

With the help of a double transfer car, the pallets are located into the corresponding aisle.

Just in the front of the automated warehouse, two level high racks incorporate the Mecalux Pallet Shuttle system.

DECASA locates its consumer products in this area.

The second large area of this logistics centre is the picking area, with high-rise picking bays and the sorter.

Forklift operators are tasked with supplying the multi-level bays with goods originating from both the warehouse and the Pallet Shuttle zone.

This provisioning takes place during the day so that from 9 pm onward operators can start picking tasks.

The multi-level picking bays consist of three blocks of racks with five load levels. Levels 1 through 3 are set aside for picking. This is where live, gravity driven racks have been installed that meet FIFO flow demands, the first pallet in is the first out. On levels 4 and 5, there are push-back racks used for product reserves to supply the first three levels quickly.

Operators pick the boxes specified to them by the system and place them on conveyor belts that run throughout the central area of the shelves, up to the very end of the warehouse.

There, a spiral conveyor raises them to the third level, where all the boxes picked from the other three levels accumulate.

The chosen boxes circulating on the conveyors of each multi-level installation merge onto a single conveyor called the sorter.

A scanner, located at the beginning of this sorter identifies the boxes to find out to which order they are assigned. This system has sliding shoe sorters, installed in the slats of the conveyor, which are in charge of pushing the goods to the exit corresponding to them.

There are 11 sloping exit points, which supply 11 loading docks, where dispatches are carried out.

This system makes it possible to prep orders by waves. Operators dispense boxes onto the conveyors, and the sorter prepares orders automatically.

Mecalux has been able to furnish a comprehensive, high throughput solution for DECASA, which is essential for fast and efficient picking, and to keep fulfilling its commitment to its customers.