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, http://www.dematic.us). 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

image
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

Even though China’s costs have risen and the U.S. has now surpassed Mexico as the preferred locale for relocating offshored manufacturing, advantages can be fleeting and the challenges great

Memphis-based FedEx reported solid fiscal second quarter earnings results today. Quarterly net income of $616 million was up 23 percent annually, and revenue, at $11.9 billion, was up 5 percent. Operating income at $1.01 billion was up 22 percent.

UPS said this week that it has added significant space to some of its North America-based distribution facilities, which the company increases the total size of its supply chain solutions network size by roughly 1.2 million square-feet. The company’s total global supply chain solutions network is comprised of 596 facilities and about 32.8 million square-feet. UPS offers various services at these facilities, including: warehousing and fulfillment inventory, transportation and returns management; custom kitting and packaging; and store-ready displays.

A week ago, the average price per gallon of diesel gasoline saw its steepest decline in more than two years, when it fell 7 cents to $3.535. This week took that decline a step further, with the Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration (EIA) reporting that the average price this week fell 11.6 cents to $3.419 per gallon.

With an eye on further expansion of its e-commerce business and related reverse logistics processes, transportation and logistics bellwether FedEx last night announced it has inked an agreement to acquire Pittsburgh-based GENCO, a third-party logistics (3PL) services provider specializing in product lifecycle and reverse logistics.

Comments

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