THE COMPANY'S TEAM TURNED THE NEW ORBICO LOGISTICS BASE INTO A MULTIFUNCTIONAL DISTRIBUTION CENTER
- Client: Orbico Bulgaria is part of the leading Croatian logistics company Orbico Group. The logistics company distributes world-famous products in the field of cosmetics, food and non-food products, pharmaceuticals, toys, textiles, cigarettes, motor oils, and many more.
- Industry and specifics: According to an interview with Mr. Branko Roglic - owner and chairman of the Board of the Croatian company, published in BGlobul "… sales are going online. But whether selling offline or online, the trader or manufacturer must deliver their goods to the end customer. And here comes the role of logistics, which should offer a cheap, affordable service. In order to achieve a low price, you need to organize the logistics processes well. This can be done with the equipment of our new logistics center in Sofia.”
- Location: The new distribution center in Sofia, equipped by STAMH Group, provides quick access to all key roads and highways in the country. The automated systems in it allow the company to accelerate its 24/7 uninterrupted deliveries, reducing its operating costs.
- Project implementation period: The project was implemented in several phases. First, STAMH Group teams equipped the palletized goods areas. Before the end of 2021, the new, automated distribution center for boxes, cartons, and single items started operating, also.
- The challenge: The automation of the distribution systems had to be done, taking into consideration high demanding efficiency requirements from the client.
- The solution implemented: STAMH designed, built, and put into operation different warehouse automation solutions:
Automated conveyor systems from STAMH Group
The newly introduced systems of motorized and non-motorized roller conveyors define several working areas. Conveyor lines are more than ½ km. long. All products are transported between the different zones in a fully automated way.
The MFS system, designed by STAMH Group, indicates on which conveyor line each tray should be transported so that each order to the distribution center can be prepared for shipment in just a few minutes.
Products organization and small and precisely defined working areas for each operator
The conveyor lines pass through all the areas for manual and automated picking, and the operators in the warehouse must just place the selected item in the tray in front of them and push a button to confirm the operation.
Each operator is positioned in a well-defined area and is equipped with a portable label printer. He sees the exact position of each product, part of the order that needs to be picked, and places it on the conveyor line in front of him, by pressing the confirmation button.
In a fully automated way, the picking cassettes reach the check-in stations, equipped with scanners, cameras, and sensor devices, ready to check if the order is fulfilled correctly.
Minimum processing time for each order
When an operator finishes preparing an order, he places the picking cassette on an automated motorized roller conveyor. He is now free to process the next one.
To further accelerate all intralogistics processes in order processing, STAMH Group marks the beginning and the end of each zone with special scanners connected to transfer modules. They provide information on whether the cassette should skip a zone and pass to the next one - directly. This saves a huge amount of effort, time, and money.
Cost minimization and eco-design and engineering
Zero Pressure Accumulation conveyors ensure that the conveyor is static when there are no products or picking cassettes on it. The module is activated only when it needs to transport boxes or trays. The sensors for this energy-saving technology are positioned under the rollers.
The gravitational rollers of the Carton Flow and Live Storage racking systems bring cartons and pallets to the picking area using gravity forces. This way, the front of the racking system is always supplied with products, without additional energy consumption.
Automated vertical lift machines
The new distribution center is also equipped with 3 fast and fully automated 12-meter Vertical Lift Machines with a capacity of 90 000 kg. - each. They can be operated by a single operator. The space in them is extremely well filled, as they have systems for dynamic distribution of the height of the trays, according to the volume of goods in each tray.
The VLMs are equipped with Laser Pointer technology, pointing to the exact position of the next product to pick. This additional enhancement further reduces the time required for each individual picking operation. A special alphanumeric LED bar provides additional information about the location of the items on the tray, the description, product code, the remaining quantity, and more.
Eliminating errors and precise execution of each order
"Accuracy, precision, and errors elimination means satisfied end customers who will be looking for Orbico Group services, again," - said the STAMH Group's engineering team.
Once, each order is prepared in zones 2 and 3, the picking cassette reaches special check-in stations, checking whether the order has been executed correctly, in a fully automated way and whether all items that must be in the picking tray boxes are available. The process is completely automatic.
The orders and cassettes, where a human error is detected, are double-checked and re-filled if needed. All errors are eliminated in a dynamic way, even before the order to the new automated distribution center of Orbico Group has reached the expedition area.
"The automated check-in station in the area of products, subject to excise duties, for example, is equipped with cameras, able to read more than 2,000 characters at a time," - said STAMH Group software specialists.
When certain order needs to be corrected, The Pick to Light system indicates only missing items positions and cassettes and trays skip the areas where they don’t need to be refilled. Thus, errors elimination takes a minimal amount of time.
Innovative sorting systems near the expedition area
The level of automation of the sorting system implemented by STAMH Group is almost 100%. The conveyors are on two levels. The system is fed by 6 ramps from the re-packing area and 1 ramp for already packed products, equipped with motorized automatic belt conveyor systems.
The shipping area located near the loading ramps is connected to the sorting conveyor system by 14 shipping ramifications, able to distribute orders according to multiple variables, like the number of items in the order, shipping destination, transport units, and many others.
- Achievement of STAMH Group in this project: The brand-new automated conveyor systems can efficiently process more than 1,800 cassettes per hour, meaning more than 14 400 picking cassettes per 8h shift or more than 43 000 cassettes and orders in 24 h. Orders may contain a large variety of products and items.
Conveyor systems define better specific working zones in the distribution center. There is no need for operators to waste valuable time searching for items or crossing long distances. Orbico Group distribution center is now able to process a huge number of orders with fewer efforts and costs.
The vertical space in the warehouse is used to the maximum, thanks to the Automated Vertical Lift machines, allowing safe storage and faster item picking.
And last but not least, STAMH Group provided training to all intralogistics staff and Orbico Group employees, to provide them the possibility to take maximum advantage of the automated features in the distribution center.