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Better item sequencing

03 April 2014

Automated warehouse solution provider TGW Logistics has installed a ‘DropBox’ picking solution for international fashion brand, Esprit.

Esprit’s Distribution Centre Europe delivers 25,000 packages a day to its customers and has the capacity to handle up to one million items every day.

To enable customer-specific item sequencing, TGW designed and installed a material flow concept to ensure goods are in the correct location at the right time.

The DropBox solution responds to the requirement for shop-based sequencing in shipping cartons. It allows for defined individual sequences in which items are packed in the DC, based on how the goods are arranged in the respective stores and provides a ‘store friendly’ presentation within the carton.

The sorted sequence of the goods in the carton reduces the amount of work involved for employees in the shops.

DropBox operates in two steps and allows for high-performance picking and packing to work independently from each other. At the 45 picking stations, the goods are picked from the cartons into designated DropBox order totes. A DropBox is used for each order line to enable single item sequencing.

The pick operatives receive their picking instructions via a touch screen, and the system combines the orders and merges the order lines with the same items at one workstation to minimise the generation of part-filled cartons. If some items remain in the carton, this carton is returned to the mini-load warehouse. Empty cartons are also withdrawn automatically. The solution achieves a picking performance of 1,000 items per hour at each workstation.

TGW also provided the automated mini-load warehouse that accommodates 202,000 cartons across 36 aisles.

Esprit head of global warehousing Axel Witte says: "It is fascinating to watch. What led to its success is the fact that all the teams involved in the project were present on site right from the beginning. This close collaboration has resulted in an outstanding distribution centre.”