Due to robust growth, this retailer outgrew their distribution center and worked with a consultant to design a facility that would increase efficiency in material handling and allow for continued growth. KLG was chosen to provide and implement the material handling system.
At the beginning of the material handling process, cartons are unloaded from trucks and containers into a large receiving layout area and palletized onto slip-sheets. Material handling personnel inspect and receive the product with the help of a custom built RF cart. There is enough material handling space in receiving to allow staging of some product until it can be released for cross dock. When cartons are released from receiving they are placed onto conveyor and proceed to the central sorter. From the sorter, cartons can be diverted to the shipping dock, pick module, carousel or one of seven put to light modules. In addition to cartons from receiving, the sorter can also receive cartons from any area in the facility; the pick module, carousel system, or put to light modules, diversifying the material handling options.
Most of the material handling activity is in the PTL modules. Items are put to light into store cartons. The PTL system is also used in a material handling capacity to restock the Online Fulfillment Center which is located about a mile from the Store DC. If the contents of a carton are not depleted in a module, the sorter routes the carton to the next module that has an allocation for the item. If any partial cartons of product remain at the end of the material handling process, they are sent to the carousel system, which is used for residual product from the PTL modules. The residual will be picked back out of the carousels the next time there is demand for the items.
When a store carton in the put to light module is full it is pushed off onto the outbound conveyor.
Cartons proceed to the pack area. The carton LPN is scanned, a manifest is printed and inserted into the carton. After void fill and tape, a shipping label is applied to the carton, the carton is weighed and proceeds to the sorter to be diverted to a shipping door. This process has had a major impact on the speed and efficiency of material handling.