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Cimcorp, the international group that specializes in robotic material handling, will present its innovative order-picking solution at CeMAT that is the embodiment of the exhibition’s theme this year of Smart Supply Chain Solutions. Based on Cimcorp’s proven, gantry-based robotic technology, the unique system is ideal for order fulfilment and storage in the food & beverage, retail, e-commerce and distribution sectors. Through extremely rapid order picking, the solution shortens lead times to enable more sales – potentially twice as many – and enhance customer service. With Cimcorp’s automation being based on a simple, scalable and movable robotic concept that is easy to install and maintain, the result is a rapid return on investment (ROI). The technology can also be used as an ‘island’ of automation that is integrated with surrounding manual operations.

Cimcorp’s solutions will be demonstrated to CeMAT visitors on Stand H26 in Hall 27 of the show, which takes place in Hannover from 31 May to 3 June.

Fast fulfilment
By shortening the order-processing window, robotic handling enables improved customer service and more sales through later order cut-off times, greater geographical reach via earlier dispatch, same-day deliveries and longer shelf life for fresh products. Faster order processing can also cut the cost of delivery – especially via third-party couriers – while more frequent fulfilment also reduces inventory levels and thereby the amount of capital tied up in stock.

Rapid ROI

“Our robotic systems are designed for fast manufacture, installation and start-up,” explains Kai Tuomisaari, Cimcorp’s Vice President of Sales and Projects. “Being modular, they are scalable to provide flexibility for the future, so can be expanded – or even moved – quite easily. Importantly in the food sector, they are also easy to clean, with the system able to clear the entire storage floor. Short timescales for projects – from initial enquiry to final handover – combine with highly efficient operation to deliver a rapid return on investment for clients.”

Cimcorp’s robotic order fulfilment solution in use at The Kroger Co., a dairy business in Denver, USA

More out of less
With stock accessed via linear robots on overhead gantries, Cimcorp’s solution requires no racking or sprinkler systems, providing further cost savings. As there is no need for conventional warehouse aisles, storage density is maximized. Rapid retrieval and accurate order picking are taken care of by one simple and energy-efficient technology.

Proven performance
Cimcorp’s order fulfilment solution has secured tangible benefits for a number of clients in the retail, e-commerce and food distribution sectors. The leading Spanish supermarket group, Mercadona, has invested in a robotic system from Cimcorp for the picking of full crates of fresh fruit and vegetables, as well as meat products, at its distribution centre in Guadix. This is an ‘island’ of automation that is integrated with Mercadona’s manual operations at the facility. The Finnish company, Tuko Logistics, uses Cimcorp automation to distribute groceries to its clients. The automatic goods-to-person storage and retrieval system at the company’s warehouse in Kerava is used to pick some 70% of orders. Another customer reaping the benefits of Cimcorp automation is The Kroger Co., a dairy business in Denver, USA. The automated system is used by Kroger to store up to 36,000 crates of plastic milk containers and to process over 30,000 crates per day.

XPO Logistics has finalised a long-term agreement with leading global lifestyle brand Ted Baker to manage its new pan-European distribution centre. The agreement covers Ted Baker’s retail, wholesale and e-commerce operations across the Continent.

Ted Baker has expanded rapidly since its beginnings as a menswear brand in Glasgow, Scotland in 1988. Today, the Company offers a wide range of collections for men and women, and has a portfolio of over 400 stores and in-store concessions worldwide.

As Ted Baker embarks on the next stage of its global development, the Company is consolidating its existing distribution sites into a single ‘super distribution centre’ near Derby. The facility will operate 24/7 and will provide sufficient capacity to support Ted Baker’s growth initiatives, while creating approximately 250 new jobs in the region.

The contract for warehousing, order preparation and e-fulfilment was awarded to XPO Logistics following an intensive tendering process. XPO successfully demonstrated a flexible approach, relevant expertise in the fashion retail sector, competence in multi-channel solutions, and a willingness to engage in a collaborative relationship.

Chris Byrne, head of global logistics for Ted Baker, said: “We selected XPO Logistics because the Company has the capacity and expertise to provide a reliable, single-site solution from which to manage all of our sales channels. Our agreement with XPO will effectively support our long-term growth plans.”

Richard Cawston, managing director of supply chain – UK and Ireland, for XPO Logistics, commented: “We are delighted to provide the prestigious Ted Baker brand with comprehensive logistics solutions. Our two companies share the same focus – that is, to deliver a premier customer experience with every transaction.”

ACE Exports Ltd, a UK company that has been supplying a range of personal care, grocery and household products to retailers throughout the Caribbean Islands for over 25 years, has outsourced its supply chain process to Midlands-based DK Fufilment Ltd (DKF).

Under the terms of the two year agreement, DKF will be responsible for receiving palletised loads of goods from ACE Exports’ global suppliers and storing the stock at its 165,000 sq ft shared user facility in Coventry.

Orders will be picked and assembled in to containers for onward delivery to the Caribbean on a weekly basis and, at peak times, five container loads a week will be dispatched.

Prior to outsourcing to DKF, ACE Exports had operated three warehouse units in the Black Country region but, by appointing DKF as its logistics partner, ACE has been able to remove this costly fixed overhead from its business model.

“One of the attractions of outsourcing to a third party supply chain solutions specialist like DKF is the flexibility it brings to our business,”
says ACE Export’s Consultant, Steve Tandy.

He adds: “Our Black Country warehouses had to be staffed to a level appropriate to cope with our busiest periods and this meant that when things were less hectic we were paying for personnel that were under utilised. It was a fixed cost that we wanted to lose and outsourcing has allowed us to do so.”

DKF opened its Coventry facility in December 2015.
The site offers three storage chambers and features a combination of wide and narrow aisle pallet racking as well as small parts storage bays and a dedicated pick, pack and re-work area as well as modern office accommodation.

The building is served by a new fleet of Toyota materials handling equipment, including counterbalanced and reach trucks, very narrow aisle trucks and man-aloft high level order pickers.

DKF Fulfilment Ltd’s managing director, Mark Elward, commented: “We are delighted ACE Exports chose to award this business to DKF. DKF will bring industry leading standards and operational excellence to the contract and we look forward to a successful partnership.”

For many businesses, operating an open stores policy is deemed to be the best way of ensuring staff have the required equipment to do their job. However, when using manual counting and logging processes, it is incredibly difficult to manage how many pairs of gloves, boots or hi-vis jackets have been issued, whether they are fit for purpose and equally whether they suitably fit the individual wearing them.

While free access may seem like the best solution in providing employees with their PPE equipment and materials, in reality it presents a number of issues:
1. When freely available, people have a tendency to take more than they need as part of a ‘just in case’ scenario
2. Loss of productivity as individuals leave their role to go in search of equipment
3. No reliable documenting process – resulting in no trackable usage patterns or, traceability
4. Businesses are dependent on manual counting processes leaving room for human error

Dispensing PPE – a potential solution
Designed for dispensing PPE and other consumable items, automated vending technologies bring a wealth of opportunity to businesses by providing 24/7 access and availability to PPE and other critical items and helping to improve control and accountability throughout an organisation.

Through the simple introduction of automated dispensing processes for example, a business is able to document if and when each and every individual within an organisation collects a new piece of equipment. Time can be reduced in the search for relevant and suitable equipment, materials and supplies as access to the vending machine is controlled by the individual’s key card or a fob. Every Apex device is an internet device controlled by the Trajectory Cloud which stores the individual’s job and health and safety requirements. With the ability to log items being dispensed, intelligent automated dispensing solutions can automatically generate time and date stamped documentation – providing the employer with a clear and auditable trail of their fulfilment of legal safety requirements.

With the ability to log transactions, automated dispensing technology also provides a solution to stock replenishment issues, sending automated stock alerts and re-order notifications to suppliers, which eliminate out of stock conditions and emergency orders. As inventory quantities are maintained by the Trajectory Cloud in real time once the system has been configured there is no risk of running out of stock or ordering the wrong equipment, which in turn helps to maintain productivity and safety while reducing the costs associated with latency, ordering incorrect or last-minute supplies.

Apex Supply Chain Technologies is the only automated dispensing technology provider to date that is powered by Trajectory Cloud. These simple and elegant Connect n’ Go systems plug into a standard electrical socket, connect to the Internet via Ethernet cable, Wi-Fi or cellular connection and are ready to go. The Apex proprietary Trajectory Cloud platform provides 24/7 visibility, alerts and reporting through a browser, anytime, anywhere, allowing businesses to improve productivity, visibility, reliability and accessibility of stock and mission critical supplies and materials as well as track usage patterns and trends.

Boosting employee accountability and reducing costs are two more benefits that automated dispensing technologies and solutions can bring to the industrial working environment. Indeed, with many businesses seeking to reduce the unnecessary usage of materials – the implementation of automated dispensing solutions will help to avoid hoarding and unnecessary waste, as well as largely eliminate the need for back-up inventory. In fact, it is not uncommon to see a usage reduction of up to 30% and inventory reduction as much as 50% as a result.

Needless to say, without the effective control and management of assets, initiatives to help improve productivity and reduce costs cannot be fully realised. Automated dispensing technology is one proven solution that can help businesses to not only minimise downtime and eliminate stock-outs, but also perhaps more importantly, maintain the safety of operations and improve the accountability of a company’s health and safety policy in the process.

Aerospace logistics provider B&H Worldwide has been appointed by Ontic, a wholly owned subsidiary of BBA Aviation plc, as its specialist warehouse and inventory management company for worldwide Ontic-owned AOG support assets.

A B&H dedicated, climate-controlled facility at Heathrow will act as principal service centre with a central store providing a 24/7/365 operation. All items that form part of the inventory are produced by Ontic, a leading manufacturer or OEM-licenced parts, which also provides MRO services for legacy aerospace platforms from facilities around the globe.

The facility’s close proximity to London Heathrow with its unparalleled range of international destinations makes it an ideal place to locate the centre.

All shipments from Heathrow will be coordinated through B&H’s unique OnTrack web portal where customers can login to have their parts despatched – with full instructions – at any hour of the day or night. Parts are received at B&H’s Heathrow facility from all over the world with many being integral elements of the exchange programme Ontic operates with its customers. From there the logged-in customer has a choice of how the items are received, can see where the stock is, what the stock levels are and see photos of it. Once the required item is selected he can complete the whole process via OnTrack.

In addition to providing the global inventory service B&H is also able to act as a fulfilment centre for delivery of AOG freight shipments where required by Ontic.

Established in 1988 in the UK, B&H Worldwide is a market leader in the highly specialist aerospace parts industry.

ONTIC is a wholly owned subsidiary of BBA Aviation plc, with over 40 years of aerospace product manufacturing and aftermarket support experience. Ontic provides FAA, CAAS, CAAC, EASA part 21 and 145 OEM support, including new and serviceable spares and repairs for over 4,500 maturing aircraft parts.

Cimcorp, manufacturer and integrator of turnkey robotic gantry-based order fulfilment and tyre handling solutions, is to open a new US-based operation – Cimcorp USA, Inc. (Cimcorp USA) – based in Norcross, Georgia. It is also currently attending the MODEX trade show taking place until Thursday in Atlanta.

Cimcorp USA will open its new facility during the second quarter of 2016, providing its sales and service team with a local base in the Southeast of the USA, a market with large projected growth for intralogistics, warehouse automation and manufacturing. Cimcorp is looking to expand its sales and service activities to customers in its target markets, including tyre manufacturing, consumer packaged goods, food and beverage, and retail and e-commerce.

“Due to its central location within a rapidly growing intralogistics market, ease of airport access, proximity to our major customers and access to skilled labour, the Norcross area is an ideal location for Cimcorp,” said Rick Trigatti, North America President, Cimcorp. “The new office will allow us to better service our US customer base while providing us with expanded access to this growing market where we will be surrounded by customers, competitors, partners and suppliers.”

Cimcorp’s robotic and automated solutions help manufacturers and distribution centres meet the challenge of managing multi-channel distribution within a complex and rapidly evolving multi-sales channel environment while optimizing material flow, increasing efficiencies and improving the bottom line. Cimcorp executives and team members are available for questions and to discuss the company’s end-to-end, multi-channel and customized solutions – including Layer Pick, Case Pick, Piece Pick, Storage & Retrieval and AGV Solutions – at MODEX on stand number 4347.