Productivity Solution: Pick Module Replenishment

Denmark's leading book distributor installed a scalable automated storage system that increased throughput and replenishment rates.

By ·

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

Lorie King Rogers
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 Modern Materials Handling Magazine!

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Find out what the world’s most innovative companies are doing to improve productivity in their plants and distribution centers.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Latest Whitepaper
Mobile Solutions: Improving Supply Chain Efficiencies
To meet customer's ever-increasing service expectations and improve their business efficiency, companies are looking to their supply chain operations – especially material handling and warehouse operations managers.
Download Today!
From the February 2017 Modern Materials Handling Issue
In warehouses and DCs, planning solutions tend to take a back seat to execution system functions. Vendors are working to boost the trust factor using tools that break down forecasts and blend with analytics.
Automated Storage on the Move
Receiving 101: Setting the Table for Success
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
2016 Warehouse/DC Operations Webcast: Confronting omni-channel complexity
During this webcast we’ll examine the current activities, trends, and best practices in warehouse and DC operations management and how companies plan to address complex issues associate with omni-channel fulfillment.
Register Today!
EDITORS' PICKS
Johnson & Johnson: A vision for automation
J&J Vision Care brings together a variety of automated technologies, including an innovative...
Using AGVs at LEDVANCE
The lighting manufacturer reaped savings by reducing maintenance costs and product damage, and using...

System Report: Sustainable Distribution at REI
Specialty outdoor retailer REI’s new distribution center brings together the next generation of...
System Report: Whirlpool puts mobile robots to work
In Whirlpool Corp.’s Clyde, Ohio, factory, mobile robots have automated the delivery of parts to...