Experience: Case Studies

State-of-the-art capability studies and demonstrations

Convenience Store Chain

KLG has recently finished implementing our third distribution center for a major convenience store retailer to help enhance inventory control. Many businesses in this industry rely on third party suppliers for their needs. This company however has been successfully relying on their own distribution for inventory control for many years and they have been coming to KLG since 1990 for their material handling needs. During that time we have completed 3 complete turnkey distribution centers and over 50 material handling projects.

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This latest system includes a three level split case pick module, a three level pallet flow pick module a shipping sorter and several thousand pallet positions of racking. In the split case carton flow pick module, candy, grocery and tobacco items are picked into totes on the first and second levels for greater inventory control. Cigarettes are picked, stamped and repacked into original shipping cases on the third level. To provide greater inventory control, all totes and cases are labeled with barcodes designating the store number and route number. All of these items exit the module on a large accumulation line that merges with the items from the full case pick module.

The full case module includes two deep pallet flow racking on both sides of the pick module. Manually operated pallet separators are built into each flow lane for safely indexing new pallets forward toward the picker to help enhance the inventory control efforts. Orders are picked in this module using barcoded labels to ensure inventory control. One inventory control label is printed for each case and applied to the case by the picker prior to placing it on the outbound conveyor. These cases exit the module and travel on a long accumulation line that merges with the split case items.

After merging together the items from both pick modules enter into a 12 lane sliding shoe style sorter in the shipping area for inventory control. Here the items are diverted into separate shipping lanes in store sequential order for optimal truck loading and inventory control. By utilizing the sorter the customer is able to employ batch picking in all of the modules for greater picking efficiency and enhanced inventory control. A PC control station in this area includes an HMI screen detailing all conveyor activity and any issues requiring maintenance. Detailed reports are also generated for each route displaying what items are on board the truck for each store to ensure tighter inventory control.

On this project KLG worked with the customer from the very beginning by designing the material handling system and assisting with building selection based on the material handling requirements to better enhance the inventory control process.