Inside look at order fulfillment: Luxottica

Luxottica’s Georgia logistics hub optimizes the fulfillment of eyewear, including prescription glasses,apparel and accessories in a three-level warehouse.

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Luxottica’s Georgia distribution center is the logistics hub for distribution and manufacturing in North America. The three-level building uses conveyor, sortation, pick-to-cart and put walls for order consolidation to offer one face to the customer and speed up throughput.


Click here to read the feature article on the fulfillment processes at Luxotica


First Level - receiving and putaway: Product is received (1) from global manufacturing facilities in Italy and China and the Oakley brand’s facility in California; 3PL partners; and from Luxottica’s returns processing facility on the McDonough, Ga., campus. Once palletized, product is staged (14), associates scan individual cartons and the warehouse management system (WMS) determines a storage location in one of the putaway zones (2, 3, 4), with a premium on replenishing a pick zone. The facility has different types of storage media, including different sizes of carton flow rack; pallet rack for fast-moving products; and shelving for reserve stock. Cartons are loaded onto carts by putaway zone. Associates scan the individual cartons into the right storage location. The product is now available to promise.

Third Level - receiving and putaway: Apparel is stored and processed on the third floor. Most product arrives at the first floor docks loaded in containers. Associates build pallets for storage and then, depending on their weight, pallets are transported to the third floor on a high-speed freight elevator that makes the trip in 20 seconds or, in one of two elevators for heavy loads (5). On the third floor (6), product is manually scanned in low bay zones that reach up to 6 feet, or use equipment to reach high bay zones (7).

Replenishment

Associates are system directed to move cartons from a shelf storage location in the reserve stock area to one of the active pick locations.

Picking

There are multiple picking methodologies in the facility.

Batch pick

Associates are system directed to a pick location. Once there, they pick items to one of three totes on a cart. The process is repeated until all three totes are picked complete, and are then inducted onto the conveyor system (8). From there, they are diverted to a packing area for either single- (9) or multi-line orders (15).

Single line orders are diverted to a single line packing area, which includes automated (9) and manual packing (10). In the automated packing area, an associate scans a tote and then scans one of the items in that tote. That unit is placed on a metal tray that moves through the pack area. First, an automated case erector matches the product with the correct box. The product is placed in a metal tray, a bar coded license plate number (LPN) is automatically applied to the box and shipping documents are printed, folded and dropped into the box. Once the product is in the box, the system closes the box, weighs it, automatically prints and applies the shipping label, and pushes it onto a takeaway conveyor. Products that require an RFID chip to prevent counterfeiting are sent to an RFID tunnel (11) where the chip is encoded. Otherwise, the carton is diverted to the shipping sorter (12).

The single line manual process is used for accessories, as a backup to the automated solution when there is a spike in order volume; for international shipments that require additional paperwork; and for items that get premium value-added packaging as part of the customer experience. The associate packs the item and weighs the shipping carton at the pack station, and then pushes it onto the takeaway conveyor to the shipping sorter.

Multiple line orders of from two to 40 units are sent down an incline conveyor to one of seven different put walls (13). The associate scans a unit and is directed by lights to a cubby location. Once all the items in a tote have been placed into a cubby, the tote is pushed to a staging area (14) where it’s picked up by a tugger system.

Packing takes place on the other side of the put wall. Lights notify the packer when an order is ready. The system selects one of five box sizes. The associate picks the box from an overhead location and applies an LPN to the side of the shipping carton. After it’s packed, the carton is sent to an overhead dunnage system where fill is added. From there, the carton is automatically closed and sealed; weighed; and then labeled. Orders that require an RFID chip are sent to an RFID tunnel. Otherwise, the carton goes to the shipping sorter.

Pick-to-carton

In a pick-to-carton order, an associate is still picking to a cart, but each carton on the cart has an LPN, assigning it to an order. As in batch pick, the system assigns a task to an associate using their scanning gun. When the associate scans an item at the pick location, the system directs the pick to a specific carton. When a carton is picked complete, it is sent to the pack station, where an associate verifies the quantity; closes the carton; and sends it to the shipping sorter.

System suppliers


About the Author

Bob Trebilcock
Bob Trebilcock, editorial director, has covered materials handling, technology, logistics and supply chain topics for nearly 30 years. In addition to Supply Chain Management Review, he is also Executive Editor of Modern Materials Handling. A graduate of Bowling Green State University, Trebilcock lives in Keene, NH. He can be reached at 603-357-0484.

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