We need different types of goods in our daily life. We may buy some of these items in bulk and store them in our house. Similarly, businessmen also need a variety of goods for their use. Some of them may not be available all the time. But they need those items throughout the year without any break. Therefore, the warehouse plays a more and more important role. Due to the development of technology, the warehouse becomes more and more modernized for meeting more requirements for the company.
I was so lucky to have the chance to visit the logistics center of Consum Cooperativa which is a Spanish supermarket chain founded and headquartered in Valencia, Spain. The Silla warehouse is the largest in Valencia, with 38,000m2, housing dry foods, fragrances, medicines, and various items. These items are divided mainly according to their frequency of need. The warehouse consists of four sections: two conventional sections, one for food and the other for non-food, one low-rotation area, and one high-rotation area. Among them, in the high-rotation, most of the equipment is so automated that there is few workers working there only for monitoring if there is some errors or not. I noticed that the since the goods arrive this area, it is put on the conveyor which consist several self-inspection area for checking if the pallet itself and if the goods is packed well or not, if not, the goods will be sent to some special area to be repacked. The goods will be delivered to a huge storing rack. The whole process is totally automatically completed by the related equipment.
The warehouse seems to be the most important part in the retail industry, but a manufacture enterprise also takes the warehouse as a key part of their whole business chain.
Last week, we had an interesting and meaningful visit to Porcelanosa. It is a Spanish ceramics and tiling company that specializes in bathroom furniture and accessories and tiling. As the leader in their industry, they have one of the biggest logistics centers in Spain which includes one of the largest automatic warehouses in the world with a total storage capacity of 275,000 automatic pallets, the new construction will pair on 10 automatic bilateral stacker cranes with 20 shelving units, each 525 feet long. The 35,000 square foot warehouse extension was constructed 105 feet high and 913 feet long, roughly the size of a 10-story building, and has a storage capacity for 65,300 pallets. And as we have seen that during the whole storage process, the products are transferred by the conveyor automatically to the storage place, and there are only few workers working with the forklift for moving some pallets of the product for distribution. Everything is put in order. The warehouse are huge and very clean, the logistics system is highly automated.
From the two cases, we can see the big enterprises pay more and more attention to build a highly modernized automated warehouse. A modernized, automated, with more area warehouse will be the final trend when the company wants to develop and expand.