ULMA Handling Systems expands the D4 logistics operator’s picking area in Uruguay

The automated warehouse of the logistics operator D4 has been in operation since 2015. The extension is being carried out in the order picking area and aims to support the operator’s expansion to new customers.

ULMA Handling Systems, specialised in the development of intralogistics automation solutions for various sectors of industry, is expanding the order picking area in the distribution centre of logistics operator D4 Logística & Distribución, in Uruguay. As a result of its growth and in anticipation of the incorporation of new customers, it is expanding its installed order picking capacity by 66%.

With the investment, the logistics operator D4 will increase its order picking lines. It will increase from 3 to 5 picking lines in total, thus enabling its customers’ activity in the hotel, supermarket and food sectors, as well as in the mutual insurance sector, and achieving greater capacity, speed and efficiency in order picking. “This expansion will also allow us to be prepared for future demands. Automation has helped us to gain productivity, reduce errors in the production process and at the same time better allocate the costs of reverse logistics thanks to the high picking quality. It is important to note that this system also allows us to provide optimal working conditions for our employees in line with Occupational Health and Hygiene standards.” , said Diego Manganelli, General Manager of D4 Logística & Distribución.

D4’s automated warehouse, developed by ULMA Handling Systems, has been in operation for seven years and is managed by Fine Stockers (stacker cranes for boxes or miniloads). Since then, the operator has increased the volume of units managed per year, reaching 42 million units/year, when at that time the planned volume was 30 million. As a result, there was a growth of around 70% in order lines. The company currently has 72,000 lines picked per month, with peaks of 80,000, 90% of which are picked through ULMA’s picking system. Today, D4 has 3,500 active references.

Manganelli reveals that the logistics operator D4 currently has 14 customers in Uruguay, and that the sustainability of D4’s growth has been possible thanks largely to the productivity achieved by the automated warehouse system.

“There is a misconception, taken totally out of context, that automation eliminates jobs. What has become clear over the past 7 years is that robotics has enabled our employees to improve their knowledge of picking systems and to work safely. The increase in D4’s customers has led to a greater need for jobs and will continue to do so after the expansion. In the healthcare sector, having motivated, qualified and trained people improves health safety throughout the entire supply chain, and this is what we have found with the solutions ULMA has provided us with”.

Marcelo Bueno, CEO of ULMA Handling Systems in Latin America, states that the expansion of the D4 project reinforces the transformation that automation promotes in companies’ logistics, which increasingly require more agility, traceability and high performance for business growth, and this is a global movement.

“It is in our DNA to innovate in order to offer our customers solutions with the latest technology and the local support of our team, to ensure we are ready to offer the best service and know-how, with an understanding of local demands. Our proximity to D4, a close relationship of six years, reflects ULMA’s objective to progress in Latin America by offering global solutions with local presence”.