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D4 Logística & Distribución

ULMA Handling Systems announces the full operation of the automated warehouse with picking area, at the distribution centre of the logistics operator D4 Logística & Distribución, in Uruguay. The company, an alliance of the pharmaceutical companies Celsius, Roemmers and Urufarma, is the country's largest distributor of medicines.

It would be unimaginable to meet this demand efficiently without an automated warehouse system and picking

Diego Manganelli General Manager of D4 Logística & Distribución


The history of this automated warehouse merges with D4's actual creation. At the start of its activities, the distributor decided to invest in an automated installation due to the increased number of operations: annual volume of 60,000 orders; 30 million units and 750,000 lines of SKUs per order.

"It would be unimaginable to meet this demand efficiently without an automated warehouse system and picking. Before D4, each laboratory managed its storage and picking in a conventional, manual way, but obviously with less capacity", said Diego Manganelli, General Manager of D4 Logística & Distribución.

As there was no operation prior to the DC, each laboratory's demand matrix and operating characteristics were evaluated, resulting in automation being the most appropriate decision to attend to all the restrictions in a joint, efficient manner, without overlooking Good Practices for the level of activity to be performed.

Proposed solution

The solution developed by ULMA Handling Systems includes packing processes, automated storage using Fine Stockers (mini load stacker cranes for boxes or miniloads) and an order picking system with Pick to Light technology. The warehouse has a capacity to operate 300 cm3 of SKUs: the equivalent of 12,500 plastic boxes and a 12-metre-high building.

“This system offers maximum service flexibility to D4 Logística & Distribución's customers, adapting to the demand swings in the pharmaceutical distribution market", explained Cesar Fracalanza, CEO of ULMA Handling Systems for Brazil and Latin America.

"The installed capacity covered the new needs of units per line and the number of lines per order, but it was necessary to make new configurations to cover the volume of operation. The change in the original logic of the systems was also a challenge for ULMA Handling Systems, resolved in a short time, showing care and attention in the after-sales service", highlighted the General Manager of D4.

The operations of D4 Logística & Distribución's DC are monitored by the Warehouse Management System (WMS) IK Log, also developed by ULMA Handling Systems and configured with the individual characteristics of the logistics operator's business. The system also contemplates the standards defined in the national legislation on medicines, such as rules on quarantine, psychotropic medicines, automatic sampling, among others.


The automated warehouse systems developed by ULMA Handling Systems offer a complete solution for the complex storage and management system for materials in pharmaceutical laboratories and hospitals, considering fundamental aspects for product safety and tracking with parameters of vital importance for the operators.

“This has undoubtedly been an integrated engineering project by ULMA Handling Systems in collaboration with our team, which allowed this product to become well known and to become a benchmark for the sector" concluded Manganelli.


Picking Automated Storage Automated storage at D4 Orders picking at D4 Automatic transport at D4

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