Supply chain firm uses conveyor system to help with B2C orders
14 July 2020
Arvato Supply Chain Solutions has added B2C orders and has revamped its materials handling to handle this alongside B2B logistics.
Arvato needed an order classification system for business-to-business (B2B) transactions in a first phase, which has recently been extended for business-to-consumer (B2C) transactions. The system, which was installed in Alcalá de Henares, consists of two induction zones: one for the preparation of orders from the packing tables and the second for the feeding of cross-docking boxes.
Interroll and Modumaq, a partner of the Rolling On Interroll program, teamed up for an extension project to provide an optimal order classification system for Arvato in its increasingly complex material handling processes.
“The proposed solution had to have the necessary versatility to be able to feed the system from several packing tables, while at the same time being able to receive boxes directly from a cross-docking entrance,” says Alfonso Flores, general manager of Modumaq.
Both inductions can work simultaneously and converge to a transport collector that aligns all the boxes for a correct reading and weight control. The weight control compares the data obtained in real time with the theoretical weight indicated by the customer's warehouse management system (WMS), automatically diverting all boxes that are not within a preset range to a quality control area where the boxes accumulate. Here, the operator will check the boxes one by one and will forward them again to the collector if the content is the desired one.
The boxes that are confirmed as correct will then pass to a sorting area, where they will be read again and automatically distributed to various routes leading up to a sorter system. The design of the ramps takes into consideration that the product is very fragile and that variation in weight is quite high, being able to receive boxes from just 200 grams for B2C shipments and up to 25 kilograms for B2B shipments. A superior conveyor has also been added for the recirculation and provision of empty boxes to be used for B2C, so that the personnel on the packing tables always have a buffer of boxes close to each of the workstations.
Interroll's Modular Conveyor platform (MCP) has been chosen as the main conveyor system, which is completed by ramps designed and manufactured by Modumaq solely with Interroll material. The control system is from Siemens and the reading system from Datalogic, and a communications interface has been developed between the Modumaq system and Arvato’s warehouse management system by means of a protocol for exchanging data in real time.
“Handling fragile products safely was a top priority, so Modumaq’s design department took this into account in both the loading areas and the sorter exit ramps,” says Alfonso Flores. “We based our design on Interroll’s modular MCP platform, as this will enable us to install new elements on the line without having to carry out major modifications and stop the process.”
The great advantage of the MCP system is its modularity: Since the system was installed years after the sorter, Modumaq’s installation teams were able to extend the packing and dispatch areas in record time without impacting or interrupting Arvato’s operations.
“We were faced with the challenge of rising complexity in the preparation, classification, and daily distribution of orders for an important international cosmetics company. The installation carried out by Modumaq perfectly meets our expectations, covering the needs required by the customer, such as handling a high variation of goods, high performance and great flexibility.” says Laura Alaman, responsible for Project Management and General Services at Arvato Supply Chain Solutions in Spain.