Accelerating goods-out and goods-in

Rather than continue to manually sort returns in its picking warehouse, Hermes Fulfillment looked to shuttle technology to increase efficiency and accuracy.
By Josh Bond, Associate Editor
October 02, 2012 - MMH Editorial

Hermes Fulfillment, an integrated fulfillment services provider, manages a range of 600,000 products, processing around 260 million items each year. One of the challenging processes for many companies is the core competence of Hermes: returns management. Rather than continue to manually sort returns in its picking warehouse, the company looked to shuttle technology to increase efficiency and accuracy.

The new system manages tasks ranging from acceptance of returns to product preparation, storage, staging and repackaging. Returns are delivered in mixed returns containers, stacked on carts. Upon arrival, the containers are automatically unstacked and conveyed to the shuttle staging area. Up to 10 different items are stored in one container. Up to 2,000 such mixed containers can be stored in the system per hour.

The system accelerates the processes between goods-in and goods-out. For specialized product returns, a central touchscreen monitor located at the workstation can give the operator an overview of all procedures. The warehouse management system is also able to allocate any available item in the returns system to a customer’s order. This further boosts fulfillment speeds so that orders placed on one day are, at the latest, ready-for-shipping the next.

The new automatic returns management system has a storage capacity of 1 million items in approximately 176,000 storage locations across 30 rack lines. Most products remain in the system for only a few hours. Utilizing up to 30 workstations on two levels, up to 15,000 items per hour are processed during peak times.

KNAPP Logistics Automation
888-606-0695
http://www.knapp.com/us


Read more from the 2013 Casebook.



About the Author

image
Josh Bond
Associate Editor

Josh Bond is an associate editor to Modern. Josh was formerly Modern’s lift truck columnist and contributing editor, has a degree in Journalism from Keene State College and has studied business management at Franklin Pierce.


Subscribe to Logistics Management magazine

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Get timely insider information that you can use to better manage your
entire logistics operation.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Recent Entries

A mixed bag may be the most appropriate way to characterize the current state of manufacturing based on the most recent edition of the April edition of the Manufacturing Report on Business issued by the Institute for Supply Management today.

The Department of Transportation’s Federal Railroad Administration and Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (FRA) issued its long-awaited Final Rulemaking for “Enhanced Tank Car Standards and Operational Controls for High-Hazard Flammable Trains.”

U.S. carloads were down 1.6 percent at 278,294 carloads, and intermodal volume was up 5.6 percent at 279,0123 containers and trailers.

Even though the immediate prospects of a long-term federal surface transportation authorization remain dim, various media reports suggest that at least short-term help could be on the way.

For anyone not sold on the ongoing impacts of e-commerce on logistics and supply chain operations, comments by some influential industry executives at the recent National Shippers Strategic Transportation Council (NASSTRAC) Conference and Transportation Expo definitely would help change that train of thought.

Comments

Post a comment
Commenting is not available in this channel entry.