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ABACUS

The cooperative that specialises in the distribution of cultural and educational products has entrusted the automation of its new logistical centre, which services the needs of 37 establishments, to ULMA Handling Systems.

A decisive factor in choosing ULMA as our technological partner in this project was its technological expertise and especially, its accredited experience.

Alvaro Pardos Abacus Cooperativa Operations Manager

Need

Since its beginnings, Abacus Cooperativa has been committed to efficiency and has promoted a strong service culture for its members, with a well-defined objective: becoming a benchmark in the distribution of cultural and educational products and services for families and society in general, whilst ensuring the satisfaction of its member clients. According to Alvar Pardos, the Abacus Cooperativa Operations Manager, the key to its success has been the combination of both financial and social profitability.

With an eye on automation and efficiency, Abacus selected ULMA Handling Systems as its technological partner, with the objective of a developing a full-fledged automated system for its internal logistics.

Proposed solution

The solution implemented by ULMA includes the automation of all logistic processes, from: receipt of merchandise, quality control, transport, storage, picking (integrating supply of boxes and containers), final verification operations, boxing and labelling and final package classification system.

One essential element is the picking system formed by an automatic warehouse with 6 container stackers and 2 transport circuits designed to achieve a rate of 1,200 boxes/hour. The picking circuit serves both cardboard boxes of various sizes and plastic containers.

Another notable aspect is that the picking system is divided into three differentiated areas, depending on the type of product and type of order lines.

This infrastructure makes it possible to prepare approximately 870 orders per day for the whole of Abacus’ distribution network, which translates into more than 22,400 lines of daily orders from a catalogue of more than 21,000 references.

As Alvar Pardos explains, a decisive factor in the choice of ULMA as the technological partner in this project was its accredited experience in designing and developing similar installations, with functionalities very similar those required by Abacus. Another factor that was greatly appreciated was the guarantee that ULMA offered by having a technical support infrastructure very close to the work centre.

Abacus’ Operations Manager explains that the changeover from a manual work model to an automated work model entailed a lot of organisational work, requiring the cooperative’s management to redefine all the working procedures and retrain the whole workforce assigned to logistical operations.

Result

In Pardos’ own words, the new installation has greatly increased productivity and the quality of the service to Abacus’ logistical chain, minimised error rates to minimal levels and significantly increased the volume of lines/daily orders, without any changes to the workforce.

Automatic storage system
Picking systems Stacker crane ABACUS Box tranport at ABACUS Picking Cart at ABACUS

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