Shorter work cycles and picking times

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American wetsuit manufacturer O’Neill’s national distribution centre (NDC) at Midhurst, West Sussex, features a new complete garment racking, handling and distribution system installed by Warehouse Systems (WSL). O’Neill’s distribution system requires storage for 30,000 garments with a weekly turnaround of up to 4,000 garments plus the provision of carton shelved storage for 2,250 units.

The NDC’s original layout comprised four separate adjacent areas each covering 280sq m. However, access to these areas was limited and the WSL design team opted for the opening up of the four areas to create a single unrestricted operational space. The addition of a mezzanine floor virtually doubled the available space, providing a total working area in excess of 1,860sq m.

The new upper floor features a series of cantilever hanging systems including single, double and triple cantilever arrangements. Two reversible trolley conveyors provide a direct link between the upper and ground floors with the capability to carry goods in either direction, shortening work cycles and picking times.

Single cantilever racking on the ground floor accommodates 10,000 garments and carton shelving capable of storing 2,250 units, together with a holding area for a further 3,500 garments.An overhead monorail system serves the cantilever racking and a 3m traverse loading boom has significantly increased the speed of vehicle loading and unloading.

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