Home' MHD Supply Chain Solutions : MHD Nov-Dec 2014 Contents 37
designed to process up to 500 picks/hour but,
in practice, Blackwoods' value-adding activities
during picking can reduce the rate down to
around 200 picks/hour.
Blackwoods' GTP workstation configurations
-- in which a single stock tote and multiple order
totes are presented to the operator -- eliminate
all of the time wasted travelling, locating and
identifying stock, and enables multiple orders to
be fulfilled concurrently.
Through the use of clear, easy-to-follow visual
guides and pick-to-light displays, picking errors
are virtually eliminated. An integrated weighing
scale also checks expected weights, further
enhancing accuracy and ensuring that any
errors are identified and corrected on the spot.
Staff work in parallel at multiple picking
stations, unaffected by each other's pace, and
picking stations can be opened and closed
according to volumes on a particular shift. The
system provides full redundancy as orders can
be processed at any location, with all stations
Blackwoods GTP workstation configurations
enable up to six orders to be picked concur-
rently. In addition, the workstations include an
additional order location for processing urgent
orders, such as customer pick-ups. The extra
location can also be used to replenish urgently
required stock to the Multishuttle storage buffer.
Orders are typically launched at the GTP
workstation and after the GTP portion of the
order is complete, the operator simply pushes
the order tote onto a conveyor, which transports
the tote through pallet live storage (PLS), long-
span shelving and carton live storage (CLS)
areas to complete the order.
SKU not suitable for GTP
Slower-moving SKU and goods not suitable for
storage within the Multishuttle system are stored
within a combination of pallet live storage, long-
span shelving, carton live storage, and selective
rack. After all the required SKU from the GTP
system have been picked into the order totes,
the system's integrated conveyor transports the
order totes to the raised storage level PLS and
long-span shelving picking module, where any
additional SKU from this area are picked and
added to the order tote.
To ensure accuracy, the order totes are
scanned and all picking in the PLS and long-
span shelving picking module is voice directed.
When all of the items for an order have been
picked in the PLS and long-span shelving areas,
the order tote is pushed onto a central take-
away conveyor, which transports it to the ground
level CLS picking module, where any final items
required for an order are picked.
After items required from the CLS picking
module have been placed into the order tote, it
is pushed onto the central take-away conveyor,
which transports the order tote to the DC's
conveyor sorting system, where the orders are
automatically sorted to the appropriate shipping
lane for checking, packing and despatch.
Integrated system software
Dematic's PickDirector Warehouse Control
Software (WCS) controls the real-time flow of
the GTP workstations, as well as voice-directed
picking in the PLS, long-span shelving and CLS
areas. It also controls the flow of orders through
the system to despatch.
Dematic's manager direct & wholesale distri-
bution Darren Rawlinson said: "Our PickDirector
Warehouse Control Software integrates with
Blackwoods' WMS to provide total visibility of all
picking operations within the warehouse, and
provides Blackwoods with real-time system per-
formance and order status data."
Blackwoods GTP system performance
"The GTP system has now been in place for
over four months, and we've been very pleased
with the output," said Tony Pantilas.
"It's delivering what Dematic said it would
from both a pick rate and productivity perspec-
tive, and the system has also been very reliable.
Mr Pantilas added: "When we first started we
didn't have all our products in the Multishuttle
system, and around 25% of our throughput
was coming from the GTP system. That's now
increased to around 50% and we expect it to
increase to 75% as we move more products into
the GTP system.
Top left: The ultra space-efficient Multishuttle
buffer storage and sequencing system stores
Top right: Blackwoods' NSW Distribution Centre.
Left: Easy-to-read and -use touch screens with
graphic displays of the product to be picked
optimise accuracy and productivity.
MHD SUPPLY CHAIN SOLUTIONS --- NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2014
OPTIMISED WAREHOUSES 37
Links Archive MHD Spt-Oct 2014 MHD Jan-Feb 2015 Navigation Previous Page Next Page