AUTOMATED WAREHOUSE FOR AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY

COMPANY

Saint-Gobain is a French industrial group recognized as leader in the production and distribution of sustainable building materials and automotive glass. The company is nowadays listed in the Global 100 index of the most sustainable multinationals worldwide and it invests almost 400 million Euros each year in Research & Development. Its solutions are designed to develop and build more energy-efficient buildings, reduce consumption and polluting emissions.

Saint-Gobain is currently present in over 75 countries and it is also present in Italy since 1889, with the construction of the first factory in Pisa for glass production. Today it counts 42 production sites, around 2,100 employees and a turnover of 1.1 billion Euros in 2023.

 PROJECT

The company asked QS Group S.p.A. to design and build an automated warehouse for its new plant in Mexico.  The main customer of this facility is Tesla, an American multinational automotive and clean energy company, to which the company supplies glass for windshields.

The automated warehouse works H24 7/7 and operates as an inter-operational buffer between primary production lines and secondary processing lines. QS Group’s role as the project’s main partner was crucial because it gave support to the customer from the co-design phase to the realisation, installation and after-sales services of the system.

%fintralogistics automation%

HOW IT WORKS

The automated warehouse is composed by:

  • 3 stackercranes for special pallets
  • Inner shelf
  • Height: 14m – double column
  • Unit Load: metal pallet (1000x2120mm)
  • Maximum Load: 1 x 2900 kg
  • 1 twin-body telescopic fork
  • Single depth
  • Capacity: nr. 40 Unit Load in-out / hour
  • Storage capacity: no. 2900 Unit Load
  • Transport system on both sides of the warehouse (front and rear)
  • AGV System Integration (Automated Guided Vehicle) with WMS coordination (Warehouse Management System)

The plant has 3 storage lanes (100m long), each served by an automatic stackercrane with telescopic forks. Each lane is also provided with two in-out conveyor systems at the extremes for the interfacing with the operators, as the warehouse has a barycentric position in relation to the departments it serves. The racks are 15 meters high and the total system’s storage capacity is 3.000 service pallets. For an high level of system reliability, each lane is separated so that the access is allowed while the others are in function.

%fintralogistics automation%

At the extremes of every lane there are one-way interface bays for hand trucks for the loading and placing of the unit loads. Every unit load is subjected to an identification process and a weight and shape control. The complexity of the plant is represented by the glass panels, which are stored on special metal service pallets and are fixed to them by belts to minimise movement and possible damage.

Dimensions (1000x2120mm), shapes and weights (2,9t) of the unit loads are significantly important. For this reason, QS Group developed a solution that meets the performance requirements and with an high level of eliability. The handling of the extremely delicate product was realised to minimise vibrations and shocks which can damage it and at the same time ensure the necessary flexibility for the dimensional variety of the glass produced.

QS Group also provided after sales services, with scheduled maintenance, remote and on site assistance H24 7/7, also with local resources, and the periodic inspection of the racks as per reference standards. In addition, Esisoftware, a subdisdiary of QS Group developed and installed a HW and SW architecture for efficiency and preventive monitoring.

%fintralogistics automation%

WAREHOUSE MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE

Esisoftware developed a WMS management system which interfaces with the ERP of the factory to manage the entry and storage of materials and the production order’s fulfillment.

WMS software integrated with the customer’s own system is able to perform all those custom functions that enable the required functionalities for the production process and plant logistic such as warehouse mapping, operator interfaces and additional functions such as inventory data, statistics, reports.

Through the use of radio frequency devices, all the materials that are not stored inside the automated warehouse can be managed, both for loading and order preparation manually through computerised procedures, which guarantee the traceability of the information.

ADVANTAGES

With the installation of the automated warehouse by QS and Esisoftware, a grater efficiency in the handling and storage of special pallets has been achieved, with consequent reduction of errors and space savings. Due to the peculiarity of the stored material and its significant dimensions, QS’s work was essential because it enabled to have a considerable improvement in terms of flexibility in material management.