Mecalux automates the Manitou Group’s warehouse in France

  • Manitou Group has increased storage capacity by 130%, being able to store 20,000 containers – 20% of the total stock – in just 560 m2.
  • The two high-performance picking stations are designed to boost the picking of multiple orders at the same time.

Manitou Group, a world leader in the manufacture of material handling, personnel handling and earth moving equipment, has modernised its logistics centre in Ancenis (France) with the help of Mecalux. The company has opted for the automation of logistics processes to boost order preparation.

Manitou Group was clear that, in order to speed up picking, it was essential to automate logistics processes: “We were looking for a solution that would take advantage of the latest technological innovations with a view to optimising the delivery of urgent orders. The Mecalux project team understood that our storage capacity problems would be solved with a high-density storage solution, which reinforced our decision”, explains Maxime Deroch, president of the Services & Solutions division of the Manitou Group.

To meet the logistics needs of the Manitou Group, Mecalux has installed the Shuttle System, an automated storage solution for boxes that streamlines order preparation, providing a constant flow of products from the storage area to the two high-performance picking stations.

Shuttle System – automation for demanding logistics

The Shuttle System is an automated storage solution for boxes that supplies the picking stations with the goods needed to prepare orders.

The solution consists of shelving where plastic crates, cardboard boxes or metal trays with items inside are deposited. Thanks to the Shuttle System, Manitou Group has increased storage capacity by 130%, accommodating 20,000 containers – 20% of its total stock – in just 560 m2.

On each storage level, a shuttle extracts the boxes from their locations by means of telescopic arms. This robotised solution increases storage density, as well as the speed of incoming and outgoing products. The automated handling equipment can operate without interruption 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.


“We are satisfied with the performance of the Mecalux Shuttle System because we have been able to increase productivity in the storage, dispatch and picking of spare parts,” says Benoît Stanislas, supply chain project manager at Manitou Group.

High-performance picking stations: mass order picking

The two high-performance picking stations, installed on one side of the automated warehouse, are ergonomic workstations, specially designed to enhance the picking of multiple orders at the same time.

Each station consists of two levels: on the upper level, the boxes with the goods arrive to form the orders. The system works according to the pick-to-tote principle, i.e. the operator takes the products from these boxes and places them in a container ─ located on the lower level ─ corresponding to a specific order.

In order to ensure error-free order picking, each picking station is equipped with six box locations equipped with put-to-light devices. The operators, following the instructions of Easy WMS, identify the location from which to extract the goods and in what quantity.

The Mecalux Shuttle System and the high-performance picking stations have increased productivity in order preparation at the Manitou Group: 500 order lines are prepared per hour with only two operators.

Easy WMS management software: strict control of 16,000 references in stock

Mecalux’s Easy WMS tracks incoming and outgoing goods and keeps a real-time record of inventory status. In this way, you can know the exact location of the 16,000 references that the Manitou Group has in stock.

Easy WMS connects bi-directionally with the Manitou Group software in order to optimise warehouse operations. It also incorporates a set of rules and algorithms to assign a location to the goods according to their characteristics and rotation.

“The Easy WMS management software handles customer orders and tells the Shuttle System which products it needs to fill them. The software instructs the robotic handling equipment to take the boxes off the shelves and send them to the high-performance picking stations to prepare the orders,” says Stanislas.

Integrated logistics solution

With Mecalux’s integrated logistics solution, Manitou Group can offer a quality service. The company has always been committed to technology in order to promote change and continuous improvement of its processes. The inauguration of this spare parts warehouse makes clear the promising future that this firm has ahead of it.


– Case study – Manitou Group:

– Video – Manitou Group:

– Shuttle System:

– High-performance picking station:

– Easy WMS warehouse management software:

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