Saturday 10th Dec 2016 - Logistics Manager

Halfords small parts picking plan

Halfords is to combine pick-to-light, pick-to-voice and a consolidation buffer at its new small parts picking centre in Coventry which is due to go live next month.

The picking system for the 310,000 sq ft warehouse is designed by Dematic to make use of wasted space above the marshalling area of a distribution centre. This will involve installing a small parts picking system on a two level, 165 metres long x 20 metres wide mezzanine that runs the entire length of the building.

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Dematic will install a conveyor-based system with 3600 pick-to-light units for fast and medium moving small parts and a pick-by-voice system from Vocollect for the slower movers. It will process approximately 10,000 SKUs.

There will be a total of 60 voice terminals used in the DC. Twenty units will be used for pick-to-voice system while the remaining units will be used for other operations within the facility, such as bulk picking, bulk put away and decanting.

These will be controlled by Manhattan Associates’ WMS, which also feeds orders to Dematic’s DC Director warehouse control system. This looks after stock profiling and integrates the pick to light and voice technologies.

It will then send picked totes to a Dematic multishuttle captive buffer to increase speed and accuracy. One of the ten shuttles will receive the picked totes for each store and stack them six high in store sequence ready to go straight into the back of the delivery vehicles, thus eliminating the need for sortation lanes and reducing the number of totes being sent to Halford’s stores.

Halfords’ logistics controller Mark Shirley said:  “It wasn’t just Dematic’s understanding of what we wanted to achieve with this project, which it demonstrated in its solution, we were also impressed greatly by its experience, the team it provided and, importantly, its health and safety systems.”