SSI Schaefer speeds storage

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Discount retailer TJ Morris, trading as Home Bargains was close to reaching a “critical mass” when it recruited SSI Schaefer to help to increase the bulk storage capacity and picking at its distribution centre.

The project involved building a 26-metre, triple deep high-bay extension to the pallet storage, providing storage capacity for more than 46,000 pallets.

These pallets are automatically brought down by cranes to replenish pallet live storage picking tunnel locations at ground level within the high-bay, from which operators case-pick using a voice directed picking system.

Both pallet crane and Miniload storage areas are served by pallet and tote conveyor systems including belt, strap, and roller conveyors to an overall length of 100m.

There are also sorters, scales, a repacking table, a conical roller curve, a belt diverter, a chain diverter, a lifting station with the roller conveyor, stacking and de-stacking machines, and automated strapping and tote ID printing.

High-bay cranes also replenish pallets and feed them to the double deep Miniload storage system, where smaller, slower moving products are decanted into totes at some 24,500 storage locations, for single item-picking.

The four aisle cranes work on the same principle as those in the high-bay, replenishing the carton-live storage picking locations along the sides of the four aisle Miniload storage system.

The firms reckon that automatic replenishment by the cranes has delivered an enormous saving in manpower and enables TJ Morris to achieve improved product throughput, at around 200 double cycles per hour, and much improved store delivery times.

Joe Morris, operations director, said: “Without the expertise and systems technology provided by SSI Schaefer our operation would have struggled to meet the demands placed upon the business by the increased sales of a rapidly expanding store base throughout the UK.”

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