Automation improves DC pick performance

SSI Schaefer has enabled Teva UK to significantly increase storage capacity, improve picking performance and sharpen efficiency and customer service levels all whilst reducing labour overheads within its new distribution operation. Teva, part of one of the top 20 pharmaceutical companies in the world, despatches over four million items per day.

SSI Schaefer designed and installed the internal layout of Teva’s new distribution centre, introducing automation systems throughout the warehouse operation – an automated storage and retrieval system (ASRS) with three cranes and 3,500 single deep storage locations was installed alongside pallet racking complete with 21,000 storage locations, a pallet conveyor system, a 78 sort lane tote conveyor system and a pick-by-light system with 13 pick stations and 910 locations. The whole operation is monitored and managed by SSI Schaefer’s ‘Convey’ warehouse control system.

Items are picked using three different options; full pallets are selected from the pallet racking, full cartons from the ASRS and single items from the pick-by-light system. Ergonomically designed pick stations equipped with hydraulic pallet lifting devices have been installed to help operators. Despatch methods are dependent upon the size of the order and determined by the warehouse management system, which also calculates carton numbers and sizes per order.

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