This company is a distributor of toys, clothing, and accessories for children infant through eight years old. The company uses a 105,000 sq. ft. distribution facility to fill orders. About 150 workers are employed here. Prior to the installation of the Hytrol system, the facility used gravity lines. Workers picked into totes, then manually pushed the totes to the packers. After packing, the orders were pushed to the case sealer, then to outbound scanning, and finally to shipping. This method caused backlogs on the entire line, especially in the shipping area. Boxes would pile up there before being loaded on outbound trucks.The firm realized the issues in their system and, with their increased business, knew a solution had to be found. They wanted to eliminate slowdown in the movement of the product going out the door and provide a smooth flow in the entire operation. They wanted a system that would make better use of the manpower in the operation, allowing all employees to be productive. They wanted a system which would handle current as well as future needs. They did not want to make another investment in the near future. Finally, they wanted a way to automatically move the used totes back to the pick location to begin the process again.
“We no longer have to push the totes through the entire facility to get the order out the door,” says the director of distribution. “The pick tote can be placed on the conveyor in the back of the warehouse and move all the way to the pack station without intervention. The highest payback may be at the outbound scanning area. Before, this area was continually jammed with product. We had two or more people working in close quarters and always behind on the scanning/weighing process. Now, a single employee can run this area comfortably with minimal lifting of product.”
How The System Works
Order sheets are taken to the picking area to the proper zone. Orders are picked into totes, several at a time, until the order is completed.The tote is then placed on the outbound conveyor which takes it to the packers. The packers scan the order sheet in the tote and each item on the sheet is displayed on their PC. All items are then scanned and verification is made that the order is complete. The products are then placed in the appropriate size shipping box, the shipping label attached, and the box is placed on the outbound conveyor. Once the box is taped, it is moved along the line through a series of photo eyes that determine to which outbound ramp it will be sent. This is determined by workload. The box is then weighed and scanned a final time to create a shipping manifest. The scanned boxes are placed on a takeaway conveyor where the boxes are sorted based on the shipping carrier.
► Facility Size: 105,000 sq.ft.
► Employees: 150
► Product Handled: Toys, clothing and accessories for infants to eight years old.
► Throughput: 5,000-6,000 cases a day
► Types of Conveyors: ACC, ABA, ABEZ, & LRC as well as gravity roller & skatewheel
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