Arco

Arco Ltd: a safe upgrade by Logistex

Logistex has successfully completed enhancements to an existing storage and order fulfilment NDC for Arco Ltd in Hull. The project was completed within the agreed time frame and without any significant disruption to the Arco day to day NDC operations. Arco are the UK’s leading supplier of personal protective equipment, work wear, and safety products.

The enhancements to the existing Logistex materials handling system have provided an increase in the site throughput capacity and a significant increase in system resilience thereby allowing Arco to maintain customer service whilst delivering a greater number of customer orders.

Features

  • Additional automatic order consolidation tote buffer
  • Extension of existing tote infeed & outfeed for new buffer
  • New consolidation buffers infeed conveyor & support mezzanine
  • New tote conveyor linked into the existing system to provide additional accumulation and resilient routing
  • Modifications to the existing WMS and CCS
  • Upgrade of obsolete tote handling ASRM drive controllers

The Client’s brief

As a consequence of significant growth since the original Logistex system was installed in 2005, operational difficulties were being experienced by the Arco site team during the busiest order throughput periods. Working in partnership with Arco, the Logistex solutions design team assessed the system performance and proposed a range of enhancements. Arco was not only keen to gain benefit through additional equipment but also to exploit additional capacity from existing equipment as well. Working at maximum throughput capacity at certain times during the year meant Arco stipulated that any enhancements needed to be implemented without disruption to their business. In addition, Arco’s position as a leading supplier of safety wear and equipment meant that a high attention to safe execution was also a strict requirement.

The Logistex Solution

By analysing real data from equipment logs & order journals, along with observing the system under stressed conditions, the Logistex solutions design team was able to identify a number of bottlenecks that were limiting system performance. The team then proposed both layout and controls changes to increase the throughput capacity. Additional conveying routes were proposed to both de-stress junctions and provide resilience in the event of congestion or equipment downtime. The main features of the Logistex solution included the supply of a 4th order consolidation buffer plus separation of the order consolidation buffers infeed and outfeed conveyor systems. This allowed alignment of the infeed and outfeed conveyors for enhanced load/unload. The pallet pick area was directly linked to the order consolidation buffers, whilst tote accumulation conveyor was also incorporated. The pack bench tote scheduling logic was modified to maximise the possibility of tote handling in ‘pairs’ within the order consolidation buffers.

Achievements

  • Throughput increase of 33%, resilience, and availability KPI’s achieved and proven at first time of testing
  • Planning ensured minimal disruption to Arco
  • Multiple weekend changes to existing conveyor lines and replacement with new conveyor whilst maintaining client operations
  • Implemented without incident within a live environment