HAVI's three-temperature food storage system

HAVI's logistics centre in Lisbon, equipped with the latest Mecalux technologies, is made up of three warehouses that operate at different temperatures in order to efficiently supply customers in the catering sector.

Video transcription

For our operators working in sub-zero temperatures, using machines that could replace them in these more arduous tasks would also be a huge benefit.

Luis Ferreira General Manager, HAVI Portugal

HAVI is a global supplier of logistics and supply chain management services.

HAVI is a multinational with around 10,000 employees. We have integrated, digital and operational capabilities that allow us to provide our clients with end-to-end supply chain operations. We used to operate near this distribution centre (DC) , about 100 kilometres from here. But that facility no longer had the capacity we required and could no longer meet the growth needs of our clientele. Since we’re always planning for the future and seeing where we can support our clients’ growth, we decided to open this DC, which has more competencies and more surface area. This way, we’d be able to integrate all the operations we needed in this centre and thus be more efficient in the way we manage our clients’ processes.

Luis Ferreira General Manager, HAVI Portugal

In Lisbon, Portugal, the multinational has carried out an innovative project. Its new logistics centre is equipped with the latest technologies from Mecalux, HAVI’s trusted supplier.

HAVI’s goal with this modern, sustainable warehouse is to supply all its clients efficiently.

We chose Mecalux as our partner for this project because it’s a company we know well. Mecalux and HAVI have a long history of working together — not only on conventional warehouses, but also on the first automated warehouses HAVI opened, like the one in Russia. Together, we built a solution adapted to this DC and with the most effective configuration for our specific operations in Portugal, in terms of our clients and the volumes we handle.

Luis Ferreira General Manager, HAVI Portugal

The HAVI logistics centre in Lisbon is made up of three facilities that operate at different temperatures.

The freezer warehouse, which runs at -24 °C, is equipped with the automated and semi-automated Pallet Shuttle systems and adjustable pallet racking. It also has 1 automated and 2 manual pick stations, as well as 8 live channels with a transfer car.

The refrigerated warehouse operating at 4 to 8 °C is outfitted with adjustable pallet racking and push-back roller racking.

And the third warehouse, kept at ambient temperature, is equipped with an automated storage and retrieval system, or AS/RS, for pallets with live channels on the lower level, and adjustable pallet racks.

There are several benefits to having an automated DC like this one. In the case of HAVI in Portugal and HAVI overall, we’re primarily concerned with people’s well-being, the ergonomic piece. We have a relatively low employee turnover, so people are staying on in their jobs for long periods of time. Since the work they do is very manual, very physical, we wanted to provide them support in this regard to facilitate their tasks.

Luis Ferreira General Manager, HAVI Portugal

The frozen storage warehouse, outfitted with the automated Pallet Shuttle system, is allocated to different types of hamburgers, potatoes and chicken-based products, among other foods.

The automated Pallet Shuttle consists of 2 racking units that store up to 6 pallets deep. With 4 levels and a height of 12 metres, these racks offer a total storage capacity of 2,243 pallets.

The freezer warehouse also features a high-density racking unit with the semi-automated Pallet Shuttle system. These racks, which have a capacity of 237 pallets, are mainly reserved for the storage of bread.

The automation of the Pallet Shuttle system combined with Mecalux’s Easy WMS warehouse management software enables HAVI to control the traceability of its products stored in real time.

Next to the automated Pallet Shuttle racking unit, 3 pick stations have been set up. There, orders are prepared with the goods managed by Easy WMS. In this warehouse, up to 12 orders can be prepared simultaneously.

These 3 pick stations are divided into 1 automated and 2 manual picking zones.

In the automated picking area, an anthropomorphic arm fills 4 orders at a time with the different products that are rotated in and out until the orders are completed. The anthropomorphic arm follows instructions from Easy WMS, which coordinates the picking sequence as well as product stackability. This arm is highly effective, saving time and operating costs.

In the manual picking area, operators put together orders as directed by Easy WMS. The software’s instructions ensure that operators respect the stackability criteria when preparing orders manually.

This area is outfitted with a put-to-light system that shows operators the SKU and number of items to remove to fill each order.

A transfer car sorts finished orders into 14 live channels. The goods wait to be stretch-wrapped and shipped without breaking the cold chain, an essential requirement for this type of facility.

The semi-automated Pallet Shuttle system stores bread and seasonal products that need to be kept at 24 degrees below zero.

Goods are managed according to the LIFO method, where the last pallet in is the first one out. Operators use a tablet to transmit instructions to the motorised shuttles.

In addition to optimising space in the frozen storage area, the semi-automated Pallet Shuttle provides direct access to the goods. It also increases productivity and saves time and costs in operations.

To streamline dispatches, Mecalux installed 8 live channels next to the loading dock. The channels are served by a transfer car, which organises the pallets to be shipped.

Goods are distributed in the channels by route, load type and carrier, among other criteria.

This zone is also temperature-controlled so as not to break the cold chain during the dispatch and lorry-loading processes.

The refrigerated warehouse stores vegetables and pastries to be kept between 4 and 8 °C.

The adjustable pallet racking offers direct access, facilitating goods handling.

The push-back roller racking houses a different SKU in each channel. These racks also optimise the available space by reducing the surface area required to accommodate the products.

It’s an optimal solution for a company like HAVI, with multiple SKUs and highly demanding order picking operations.

The ambient-temperature warehouse features an AS/RS. A stacker crane handles the pallets, placing them in live channels where operators perform picking. Each live channel contains a single SKU.

The stacker crane automatically replenishes the live channels, making sure that operators always have the goods they need to pick without interruptions.

The ambient-temperature warehouse stores beverages and sauces. It’s managed by Easy WMS software, which organises operations and ensures the traceability of the goods in the AS/RS.

The Mecalux software communicates with the logistics centre's software to control all products.

Easy WMS informs the logistics centre's software of the stock levels to rigorously monitor all the goods.

This warehouse also has adjustable pallet racking. Operators perform picking on the lower level of these racks.

Dividing the DC into different areas at different temperatures enables us to accommodate all our clients’ service needs as well as their entire product range. These goods run the gamut from those that need to be kept at ambient, refrigerated and frozen temperatures. We’re able to maintain the cold chain in our facility thanks to sensors that are operational 24 hours. They send us alerts in case of drops in temperature or temperatures that go above or below the established limits. This way, we can guarantee that the entire cold chain remains unbroken in our facility. The Mecalux software, which is connected to our own warehouse management system, is essential for us.

Easy WMS tracks all the goods in the automated systems. Plus, by means of an interface, it connects with our own WMS used in the frozen food area. This allows us to control product turnover, improve efficiency and distribute products in the right locations to reduce their storage and retrieval times. All algorithms are run in the Mecalux software.

Traceability is a legal requirement, and as such, we have to take it into account in our activities and ensure that we can trace any product at any time. In the case of Mecalux’s WMS, we wanted to be sure it could interface with our own warehouse management system to maintain traceability and be able to monitor all our products.

Luis Ferreira General Manager, HAVI Portugal

HAVI’s modern logistics centre is tailored to the company’s needs and supplies 150 restaurants every day.

In equipping 3 warehouses operating at different temperatures with personalised storage solutions, Mecalux has strengthened its relationship with this logistics provider. This latest project with HAVI is a testament to Mecalux’s position as an expert in storage systems for refrigerated and frozen storage warehouses.

This was a really successful project because we were able to work with a single partner, Mecalux, throughout all the phases: from the project’s conception to the actual operation of the facility. Mecalux was by our side from start to finish, from design to delivery. And this goes for after-sales service as well: Mecalux continues to provide us with maintenance service and support in the day-to-day activity of our centre.

Luis Ferreira General Manager, HAVI Portugal