Completing a contract worth over £1.5m, Axiom GB has automated World of Books’ ecommerce fulfilment centre in Coventry. Capable of processing up to 200,000 items a day, Axiom’s innovative installation includes belt and zero line pressure conveyors, a sorter with a series of 10 multi-directional swivel wheel sorters to divert items to one of the 21 outfeed stations, and a high speed tote lift.

Axiom’s material handling system at World of Books can handle 200,000 items per day.

It also features three inducts capable of diverting 5000 books per hour to three destinations based on recycling, required stock, or manual processing. In addition, there is a 12 destination single sided swivel wheel sorter with 90 degree chutes for manual processing.

In just 20 years World of Books has grown from a start-up company into the UK’s largest seller of used books. The company’s main ethos is to help people reuse and recycle for less through innovation and technology. With headquarters in Goring-by-Sea and its Coventry and Cincinnati based distribution hubs, World of Books has a combined inventory of more than eight million items, selling a book somewhere in the world every two seconds.

With the rapid expansion of the business, a new central ecommerce facility was needed that could house the growing stock of books and media (CDs and DVDs). Situated in Coventry at the Middlemarch Business Park, this new 100,000 sq. ft. facility now serves the whole of the UK and is the company’s central hub for its growing empire.

Martin Fisher, Operations Manager for the hub, explains why Axiom was selected as the company’s automation partner: “It was a combination of the design, capability, and cost of Axiom’s solution, together with the accessibility and availability of the Axiom team.

“Axiom is local to our Coventry site, and we quickly established a good rapport with Matthew Nickson, the company’s managing director. The system Axiom proposed offered a new level of automation for us, as our head office in Goring is very much a manually run facility. The throughput and reliability of the automated system Axiom proposed meant that we would outstrip all our current KPIs and deliver a huge performance benefit for World of Books.

“Another major advantage of the automated solution, especially in the current market, is the reduction in the number of people needed to operate the hub. If it wasn’t automated, we’d probably be looking at an extra 70 people required onsite and trying to get suitable staff in the current climate would be a real struggle. Axiom designed, manufactured and installed a well-thought out and effective solution that not only solves our people problem, but also exceeds the KPI goals and allows for future growth of business.

“Currently, we process around 150,000 items each day of which 45,000 end up going directly for recycling with the remaining 105,000 items put into stock. The system is designed to cope with 200,000 items a day, however, at present, we are not yet operating it at its full capacity.

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