Friday 21st Oct 2016 - Logistics Manager

Office Depot picks automation

SSI Schaefer has just completed installation of a new 28,000 sq m distribution warehouse in Manchester for Office Depot. The warehouse has a daily picking capacity of 35,000 cartons.

The system includes a compact arrangement of picking areas, the 3.3 kilometre long conveying system, an automatic picking system, a dynamic flow rack and an Automatic Storage and Retrieval System.

The basic picking principle of all picking areas is paperless picking. For this purpose, the IT System creates a carton or tote order for paperless picking at the ordering stage. The cartons are then opened at one of the three installed carton erecting stations and made available, together with the totes, on separate buffer conveyors. A routeing label with barcode is given to each tote, including relevant logo, to guide the transport units effectively round the order handling process.

Over 720 S-Pemat customised channels for storing small parts and automatic picking for small, fast-rotating products have been installed by SSI Schaefer. The S-Pemat system provides optimum storage and provision for the picking of small parts, while high quantities of different products can be stored in adjacent channels. A Pick by Light system is used for larger, faster rotating products.

A second area with semi-automatic picking for slower rotating products was installed with two Pick to Tote picking stations for products picked directly into the shipping cartons. The workstations are just retrieval places, part of a 13 metre ASRS. With 31 levels, on a base area of just 280 square metres, the system can accommodate up to 6,000 products in 10,000 storage locations.