B&Q updates NDC with automated tote shuttle solution
15th March 2022
Logistex has completed a £10m project for B&Q at its Distribution Centre in Worksop, UK. The solution brings together a range of technologies including a pallet decant system, Goods To Person (GTP) stations, a tote shuttle system, and robotic palletisers. The system is operated by Wincanton on behalf of B&Q and represents a long-term strategic alliance between the two companies.
Due to significant growth plans, B&Q needed to increase its Worksop site capability to 2,100,000 cases dispatched per week. Working closely with B&Q, the Logistex Solution Design Engineers developed a solution that would meet these expansion needs whilst also improving site efficiency. Simulation and emulation were used to prove performance and minimise risk to the operation.
The decant process efficiency was increased by 86% with the addition of 16 automatically fed pallet decant stations. These ergonomically designed stations are used to decant palletised cases of product to totes, after which they are conveyed to a shuttle system for storage. The Savoye X-PTS shuttle system consists of 54,000 tote storage locations, serviced by 140 shuttles and 10 high speed lifts. The X-PTS has a combined throughput capability of 4,000 totes in and 4,000 totes out per hour.
Four Goods To Person (GTP) stations are serviced via the X-PTS, with each GTP station having its own tote sequence buffer to guarantee maximum throughput whatever the order size. Each GTP station operates at a pick rate of in excess of 800 cases per hour which is a threefold increase on the existing trolley pick system performance.
Order totes picked at the GTP station are returned to the X-PTS to await completion of the order. Once complete, order totes are released to a robot palletiser system capable of palletising in excess of 1,000 totes per hour.
The X-PTS is also used as a replenishment buffer for additional picking areas in the warehouse.
The new decant, X-PTS and palletiser solution is controlled by the Logistex warehouse management and control system, LWS Reflex, to guarantee continuous high performance, high availability, and local support.
This project showcases the successful partnership between Logistex and Savoye which has already resulted in further new project orders.
Jerry Woodhouse, Chairman at Logistex, says; “The new B&Q Tote Handling System has been a great project to be involved in. The principal stakeholders of B&Q, Wincanton, Logistex and Savoye have all worked together with a phenomenal can-do attitude to successfully deliver the project despite the challenges presented by the Covid Pandemic. The Savoye tote shuttle system integrated by Logistex and controlled by our WMS LWS Reflex has enabled B&Q to significantly upscale the operational capabilities of their NDC at Worksop.”