Carousel system upgrade improves order fulfilment efficiency

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Automated solutions specialist Diamond Phoenix has upgraded the existing carousel storage and retrieval system at Southco’s European distribution centre (DC) at Worcester which has resulted in improved efficiency within the order fulfilment operation.

Southco, which makes and designs latches and access hardware for electronics and automotive manufacturers, says the carousel system is an increasingly important part of the company’s supply chain strategy following the centralisation of its European operations at Worcester. The system comprises six horizontal carousels arranged in two picking pods, and two operator work stations with light directed picking control.

About 80% of the DC’s throughput is handled by the carousels, which was installed by Diamond Phoenix in 1996.

Diamond Phoenix has upgraded the system by using the latest version of its Diamondware warehouse control and application software. It controls Southco’s full range of order fulfilment hardware to help create a more efficient warehouse. It operates on a Windows NT/2000 platform and offers high speed front-end control. The software also integrates with WMS, ERP and other host systems so that shop floor operations run more efficiently.

Orders are downloaded from Southco’s WMS to the picking system in batches. Diamondware ensures that the carousels deliver items to the pick face in the optimum sequence to fulfil the current batch orders in the shortest possible time.

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