Sunday 23rd Oct 2016 - Logistics Manager

Order pickers contribute to improved efficiency

n Cycle parts and accessories distributor Madison is using Atlet man-rising order pickers and a combination pallet stacker / order picker to enhance efficiency at its distribution centre in Bradwell Abbey, Milton Keynes.

n Madison has about 4,000 customers including many independent bike dealers in the UK, Republic of Ireland and Channel Islands as well as several corporate account clients. In addition to its own-brand Ridgeback mountain bike range the company’s brand portfolio includes several leading components

and accessory suppliers.

n The company opened the distribution centre in 1998 and, shortly afterwards, consolidated the distribution for other group businesses into the new facility. Many items stocked in the warehouse are single or small pick items and one of the main handling requirements is to replenish picking faces with products held in bulk storage locations at higher levels in the racking.

n Madison originally used a reach truck fitted with a specially adapted permanent cage to pick items but this always required two people and was not very efficient. David Broom, warehouse manager at Madison, says: “We thought there must be something better than this. We consulted Atlet, who immediately saw that we could save time and money by using a man-rising order picker for a single person operation.”

n Atlet has supplied Madison with an OPS man-rising order picker featuring dual controls, one at each end of the operating platform and saving time as there is no need to turn around between picking and controlling the truck. It also promotes safety as the operator can always face the direction of travel.

The manufacturer has also developed a special picking cage to mount on the OPS’ forks and which has a hinged panel on one side that can be dropped down when it is on the ground so that staff have easier access to remove items when transferring them to the picking face without having to lean over and reach into the cage.

n The consolidation at the warehouse brought together 20,000 lines in total. Atlet and Madison worked together to design and configure an extension to the warehouse to provide 6,500sq m of space and total number of bulk storage locations to 7,500.

n An Atlet DCR Omni man-up combination pallet stacker / order picker was chosen to operate in the new section of the warehouse, which features narrow aisles. The DCR Omni, wire guided in the narrow aisles, can be used to handle pallets in and out of racking locations or as a conventional man-rising order picking for complete flexibility.