When the Boots Group decided to consolidate its retail supply chain and automate its central warehouses, part of its plan included adapting an existing 5,000 square metre section of warehouse space, to enable it to handle high volume, top-selling lines.
As a result, the retailer signed up Dexion to design and create a fast pick operation for its top 100 lines.
Dexion erected single-storey push-back racking, designed to maximise storage and squeeze more use out of the existing space. It then created a pick tunnel, located underneath the racking, with pallet live pick lanes servicing the tunnel.
Pallets weigh anything from 100kg to 1,250kg, so Dexion built the racking system to ensure that it could accommodate any pallet weight within this range.
The racking system has been designed to accommodate 1,265 pallets and the pallet live system uses rollers from Interoll and a push-back operation above.
The overall height of the system is six metres with the pick tunnel having an overall height of 2839mm (2.8m). A single level of full-width roller push back lanes, three or four pallets deep, services the ground floor pallet live system with product for the picking operation.
Dexion also erected two double-entry and two single-entry runs of standard pallet racking comprising 5500mm (5.5m) frames and varying beam lengths, some with mesh shelving panels, to create 448 pallet locations.
Both configurations have been designed so that a standard counterbalance forklift truck can be used to store product and low level order pickers can be used within the pick area.
Front angle protection has been provided within the pick tunnels as well as mesh to all frame ends, to help boost health and safety. Part of the building was stripped and then smoke-curtains, lighting, sprinklers, smoke detectors, CCTV cameras and in-rack sprinklers installed.
The new site is integrated into a new automated complex that supplies the remaining 75 per cent of average daily volume.