“Breaking New Ground” with Federated Co-op

by camblog on November 15, 2011

in Equipment

AS/RS – Horizontal Carousel Implementation

Over the last few months Cam Industrial Supply has begun to work with Federated Co-op to create a complete warehouse system. The system is a new type of installation for us because it is a complete horizontal carousel that will be integrated through software to Co-op’s ERP. We are very excited to be working with another company to grow our company abilities. This specific job is like no other for us and will give us the ability and experience to take on similar scenarios in the future.

Before we started working on the Federated Co-op job, a plan had to be laid out. We came up with 4 basic design conclusions that the system would have to integrate to be a success. The first was for the system to hold four separate pods to pick an average of 7,745 lines a day (35% growth). The planning rate was to have 275 lines picked per hour per pod. One pod can pick 2,200 in an eight hour day, so all four can pick 8,800 all together. This was easily within the targets given by Federated Co-op.

The second is order consolidation. Orders larger than 100 lines account for over 50% of lines picked and over 50% of cubic volume picked. Since the majority of material comes from multiple pods then orders will have to be consolidated from totes to shipping totes for packing. This design is efficient, simple to manage and allows workers to work on multiple orders at once.

Thirdly, tall bin carousels / lift tables will be implemented. The top 50% of SKU’s account for over 90% of lines picked. This large split of SKU activity means the other half of the locations in the system are only hit 10% of the time. Cube data shows that they do not add that much storage space to the system. This creates a good application for tall bin carousels with lift tables.

Lastly conveyor delivery makes the system more efficient by keeping the picker on the pod. By delivering and receiving all material from the pod, the picker can stay stationary and gather lines from the carousel, then send items to outgoing totes effectively. All together the system can efficiently move more products quicker while keeping it organized.

All together the system footprint is about 9,600 square feet. There are four pods picking from twelve carousels, delivering to fifty six total tote batches which are organized into two VLS units. These units can collect 460 totes which are then packaged at eight separate stations and shipped to Co-op locations.

System Highlights

  • Each Pod consists of 3 Carousels and is managed by a single operator
  • Each Pod can pick 275 lines per hour, or 1,100 lines per 8 hour day
  • The system includes 4 Pods, providing the ability to pick up to 8,800 lines per day
  • This is achieved in a footprint of only 9,600 square feet
  • The VLS systems are the first to be installed in Canada

System Overview

  • Incoming orders are sent to the integration software where they are sorted and qued for picking
  • Carousels deliver the sku’s to the picker
  • Light trees inform picker of pick location and quantity
  • Picker removes product from the bin
  • Picker places product in totes designated for stores
  • Totes are conveyed to VLS where they are accumulated, up to 460 totes
  • VLS delivers totes to packaging area for shipping
  • Packages goods are sent to the store locations

 

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