Award-winning equipment, supplied and installed by Dürkopp Fördertechnik – a leader in E- commerce automation and sortation systems – is helping a major UK grocery and fashion retailer distribute more than 40 million clothing items a year.
Dürkopp’s Rolladapter and Pocket Sorter systems handle hanging and flat goods respectively and each adapter and sorter pocket are also fitted with their own barcode and RFID chip. The equipment was installed in the group’s main 41,000 m2 distribution centre which has some 400,000 sq.ft. of multi-level storage.
Dürkopp’s equipment helped the retailer win the category for new facilities over 150,000 sq. ft. at the 2018 Logistics Awards
Annette Sommer, UK general manager for Dürkopp Fördertechnik, which is part of Knapp, said: “We have a long association with this top retailer which has more than 1,400 points of sale across the UK. In 2015 they started to explore the world of e-commerce with the launch of an online store selling its fashion label and because Dürkopp’s technology is modular, the system can be added to as the customer’s e-commerce business grows.”
Dürkopp’s four-level, automated system includes three sorters, three run buffers, three super-run buffers, 34 dynamic buffers and four allocation areas.
When necessary, the system moves the 220,000 items it contains, shifting those needing to be picked closer to the exit. In less than 30 minutes, it can retrieve any item and convey it to the dynamic buffer’s two exit rails. With the capability to pick some 7,500 items an hour, the automated system easily outperforms a human operator where the usual maximum rate is 400-500 items.
At the end of the process, trolleys are loaded onto one of the 20 trucks that leave the distribution centre every day. The Dürkopp system delivers the correct sequence of goods needed to make up a single shipment with everything arranged in the sequence requested by the individual store. Goods are supplied within five days from the placement of the order and the system ensures stores get what they actually need rather than sending out pre-determined quantities.
Items for e-commerce shipments arrive together at one of the 40 packing stations where the operator unloads the items, scans each barcode and places the goods into a large container from where they are then picked and sorted according to destination and shipment method. All online orders placed before 2.00 pm are delivered the following afternoon.
“This major installation provides further proof of the popularity of our pocket sorter technology – we have now sold more than 70 of these systems across the UK, mainland Europe and the USA,” added Annnette.
“These are challenging times for the retail sector but innovative Dürkopp technology is helping companies such as ASOS, Debenhams, Net-A-Porter, ASDA, Marks & Spencer and Primark meet customer expectations.”
Dürkopp Fördertechnik will be exhibiting on the Knapp stand No. 604 at IntraLogisteX.