Got to pick a product or two

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Vanderlande has installed a new order fulfilment system for a food retailer in Leipzig, Germany, designed for smaller, slow-moving products.

The system, which comprises a pallet ASRS for bulk storage and replenishment with a miniload ASRS for tote storage and goods-to-man picking, has improved accuracy and order picking performance and increased repacking speed.

One of the objectives of the project was to manage storage and order fulfilment for up to 8,000 different product families within a floor area of around 80,730 sq ft, without sacrificing floor space.

The ASRS for pallets now handles replenishment processes. Notified deliveries of goods are checked and recorded in the goods receiving area and single product pallets are labelled and loaded onto the conveyor system and stored in one of 2,052 pallet locations in the two-aisle ASRS for pallets. Those that don’t comply with the size restrictions are diverted to a manual repacking area.

Twelve pallet lifts are supplied on demand with pallets by transfer cars. The lifts raise the pallets up to platform level through a shaft and the contents of the pallets are presented at an ergonomic height to the operators on the platform who remove the specified number of items and places them into product totes.

After the product totes are filled up, they move on to the 20-aisle miniload ASRS storage system. The totes are retrieved from the storage system on an individual order basis and transported to the order picking workstations, which each have two sequencers for buffering.

The system can sort goods into up to 16 product families, as well as subsequently sorting the individual items by weight, putting heavy goods before light. More than 320 items can be picked per hour.

Product totes are then transported to workstations in a predefined sequence and the picker takes the number of items needed and places them in the order tote, which can be stacked three high in the delivery truck – two stacks have the same footprint as a Euro pallet creating additional space savings.

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