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Summary

A major wholesale distribution company was on the verge of a significant increase in case shipment volume. They were in need of an Automation System to support this growth which would also be flexible to facilitate future objectives. The high valued products that would be conveyed, packaged and processed are in various sizes, shapes and weights and highly susceptible to shrinkage.

Challenge

Integrate a Material Handling and Software Automation System to communicate with the customer’s order base, verify order accuracy, capture weights, audit, communicate with shipping software, label and convey for shipment. Product visibility was required for automated audit process. Additionally, space was seriously lacking and the system was to be integrated without interrupting the existing ongoing Picking and Packing routine.

  • Extensive Material Handling
  • Software Automation & Vision
  • Increased Order Throughput

The Solution

Motor Driven Roller Conveyor was selected to provide smooth handling along with individual zone control for Accumulation and Singulation.

Solution

24 Volt Motor Driven Roller Conveyor was selected to provide smooth handling along with individual zone control for Accumulation and Singulation. Picked orders are initially conveyed through a “Wrap Around” bar code reader on a custom carrier, where order accuracy is determined and weight is captured to be verified prior to packing. A reject lane is established for any carriers with product discrepancy, to be corrected and re-entered onto the conveyor. Vertical Lifts are incorporated to overcome the lack of available space; eight were custom designed and developed for this project.

The carriers are conveyed to packing stations where the products are transferred into shipping cartons. Empty cartons are delivered to packers by way of a continuous overhead chain conveyor. After product is packed, cartons pass through a camera system for documentation and a second weigh scale for verification prior to being sealed and labeled. A final scan is incorporated to confirm order identity, as well as routing and shipping information. Flexible conveyors transport and accumulate the cartons out the doors for delivery.

Conclusion

The fully integrated system has succeeded in increasing order throughput, accuracy, and efficiency – while significantly reducing the customer’s overall labor requirements.