SSI Schaefer has installed an automated order fulfilment system for Office Depot’s Leicester distribution centre. The system was up and running within 12 months, and hosts two main business operations processed within the warehouse – Viking Mail Order and Office Depot contracts. With it the company can process 75,000 order lines over a 12-hour period with a daily picking capacity of 36,000 cartons.
Schaefer also applied a “shutdown system” for lean periods that closes sections of the conveyor automatically until a carton is detected entering a section.
David Hibbett of 551 Schaefer says: “Overall the system is required to convey cartons from an infeed storage area, to a dispatch area, via a number of picking faces according to a pre-determined route communicated from the Office Depot host system.”
A manual carton induction process with automatic leaflet/flyer insertion has been provided and induct stations include ink jet coding stations for printing brand logos and additional messaging. The cartons are then discharged from each machine onto a takeaway conveyor and automatically directed into size-specific accumulation lanes.
A split case picking system on multiple levels complete with carton/tote recirculation was included to help reduce system gridlock. The system operates a throughput of 2,400 cartons per hour to different areas of the picking system and all pick zones feature pick-to-lights. Each operate at 1,800 cartons per hour.