Productivity Solution: Pick Module Replenishment

Denmark's leading book distributor installed a scalable automated storage system that increased throughput and replenishment rates.
By Lorie King Rogers, Associate Editor
March 01, 2010 - MMH Editorial

Nordisk Bog Center A/S (NBC) is a leading book distributor in Denmark and part of Gyldendal, Denmark’s oldest and largest book publishing house. The operation distributes 22,000 unique book titles and related items through three different channels—retail stores, teaching institutions, and direct to customers.

To modernize its mechanized equipment and keep pace with evolving market demands, NBC installed a new materials handling system (Dematic, 877-725-7500, The comprehensive solution, which includes a scalable multi-shuttle automated storage and retrieval system (AS/RS) and a voice-directed order fulfillment system, brings together NBC’s three different process flows into a single system.

“The market is changing from relatively few large orders to many small orders,” explains Jan Jensen, NBC director. “This was the main business case for our investment.” As a result, NBC has achieved improved process flow, lowered operating costs, and a reduced system footprint. It has also reduced the staff required to fill orders while enabling dramatically higher replenishment rates.

The order picking process begins when an order carton is created. It’s automatically directed to specified picking zones only where picks are required, streamlining order flow. A voice-directed order fulfillment system instructs workers at each pick zone while the mini-load shuttle AS/RS handles replenishment.

The AS/RS consists of a multi-level rack structure, carrier vehicles, conveyors and software integration. Each level includes input/output and a carrier vehicle that travels horizontally to access stored loads. An extraction device on the carrier vehicle accesses the load then brings it to the end of the aisle where a vertical lift delivers it to the conveyor. Having a carrier vehicle captive in each aisle allows for ultra-high throughput.

Pick module replenishment occurs when product cases are retrieved from storage and inserted into the back of the pick face. The AS/RS automates the labor intensive task of replenishment and improves ergonomics.

About the Author

Lorie King Rogers
Associate Editor

Lorie King Rogers, associate editor, joined Modern in 2009 after working as a freelance writer for the Casebook issue and show daily at tradeshows. A graduate of Emerson College, she has also worked as an editor on Stock Car Racing Magazine.

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

Seasonally-adjusted (SA) for-hire truck tonnage in October at 135.7 (2000=100) was up 1.9 percent compared to September’s 133.1, and the ATA’s not seasonally-adjusted (NSA) index, which represents the change in tonnage actually hauled by fleets before any seasonal adjustment was 139.8 in October, which was 0.9 percent ahead of September.

The average price per gallon of diesel gasoline fell 3.7 cents to $2.445 per gallon, according to data issued today by the Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration (EIA). This marks the lowest weekly price for diesel since June 1, 2009, when it was at $2.352 per gallon.

In its report, entitled “Grey is the new Black,” JLL takes a close look at supply chain-related trends that can influence retailers’ approaches to Black Friday.

This year, it's all about the digital supply network. In this virtual conference, we will define the challenges currently facing supply chain organizations and offer solutions designed to transform linear operations into dynamic, automated networks that offer seamless communication, visibility, and the ability to respond and optimize processes at any given time.

In his opening comments assessing the economy at last week’s RailTrends conference hosted by Progressive Railroading magazine and independent railroad analyst Tony Hatch, FTR Senior analyst Larry Gross said the economy continues to slog ahead at a relatively tepid pace, coupled with some volatility in terms of overall GDP growth. And amid that slogging, Gross said there is currently an economic hand-off occurring between the industrial sector and the consumer sector.


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