Clipper expands returns capacity at Selby

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Clipper has boosted the returns capacity at its Selby distribution centre so that it can handle up to 850,000 returns a week.

It chose LB Foster Materials Handling as principal contractor for the two-tier installation which is situated in a 60,000 sq ft area underneath a mezzanine floor.

The solution includes conveyors for totes with a dunnage system running directly above it, together with 108 work benches which are positioned alongside the conveyors.

The operation, part of Clipper’s Boomerang solution, handles returned garments, footwear and accessories. Combined with the original returns processing centre at Selby, it can now handle up to 850,000 returns a week.

Paul Heaton, head of regional operations for Clipper, said: “In the past we’ve had a problem with waste cardboard, however, the low level dunnage solution that LB Foster designed and installed as part of this project has proved to be a real benefit to us. The payback period for the dunnage system is just 12 months so it has cut our costs. We’ve also been able to reduce the amount of labour we use on waste cardboard and actually generate some income for our customer.”

Returns are sorted into black and red totes. The black totes carry product that is being sent back into stock while product in the red totes requires some rework. A colour sensor above the conveyor system sends the black totes down one of three spurs to the dispatch area and the red totes accumulate in the reprocessing section.

Workers place all of the waste cardboard onto the dunnage belts which run over the top of the tote conveyors beneath the mezzanine floor. The belts all converge onto the main dunnage conveyor which, when clear of the mezzanine, takes the waste up an incline belt to a higher level conveyor. This transports the waste for recycling through the wall to a compactor outside.

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