Peach State Integrated Technologies, an Atlanta-based logistics and distribution engineering firm was awarded a major project by a leading global apparel manufacturer involving the replacement of two of its distribution facilities with one new, efficient and ergonomic centre to accommodate a shipping throughput of 42,000 cartons per day.
Peach State Integrated Technologies was tasked with the design and execution of the 1,000,000+ square foot project with key goals being:
- To improve order and inventory accuracy
- To reduce the amount of inventory that was being maintained between the two facilities
- To reduce shipping response times and freight costs to customers
- To gain overall efficiencies of scale from consolidation
The project requirements called for a conveyance system to receive floor-loaded cartons from six containers simultaneously, which involved six flows of cartons first merging into three accumulation lanes and then the three lanes feeding a saw-tooth merge prior to an in-line scale and carton sorter.
The consolidation of these flows into a single stream of cartons had to occur on a busy receiving dock with limited space for an accumulation conveyor.
Three material handling equipment vendors were sent a functional specification for the receiving sub-system.
Two MHE vendors presented designs that required 600 feet of accumulation conveyor between the receiving docks and the merges. Additional conveyor curves were also required to weave the accumulation conveyor through the confined receiving area.
These factors led to designs that forced large conveyor footprints with the attendant complex conveyor controls.
The third vendor presented a different concept for reducing the cost and space requirements to merge 18 conveyor lines into three lines.
According to this vendor’s design, six mobile extendable conveyors would unload the 18 dock doors with each of these extendable conveyors feeding its own static belt conveyor incline and the inclines directly feeding three Intralox 2:1 Perpetual Merges.
Unlike alternative merging technologies, the Intralox Perpetual Merges do not require upstream accumulation.
By using the three continuous flow merging systems that require no starting/stopping of infeed conveyors, Peach State’s solution permanently eliminated the 600 feet of accumulation conveyor required by traditional merge solutions, saving the client approximately $240,000 of conveyor expenses.
With the accumulation conveyor eliminated from the design, the equipment footprint in the receiving area was further reduced, freeing up valuable floor space for the end user.
Since the Intralox Perpetual Merge mechanically merges the cartons and requires no upstream accumulation, it eliminated the need for most merge controls and their associated costs.
Key results from Intralox Perpetual Merges:
- Enables the DC to handle the combined product capacity of the two original facilities
- Reductions in customer freight costs
- Improvements in shipping response times
- Better ergonomics for workers due to reduced carton handling requirements
- Simplified maintenance with improved uptime
Starovasnik recommends the Perpetual Merge for use by OEMs and end users in any retrofit project where lines are added and need to be merged prior to a sorter.
The Perpetual Merge is available in Australia through Intralox Australia .