By Sara Pearson Specter, Editor at Large -- Modern Materials Handling, 1/1/2006 With growth and consolidation on the horizon, national distributor of entertainment media and software Navarre Corp. needed to increase warehouse size and upgrade an outdated orderpicking process. The old process relied on pallets, forklifts and hand-packing stations for outbound shipments. But Navarre of New Hope, Minn., needed to modernize operations with a multi-level concept for the new warehouse design (Keogh Consulting, 440-526-2002). With this expansion, Navarre installed two, three-level pick modules (Bastian Material Handling LLC, 888-575-9992). The design also has additional capacity for a third module. Other upgraded features include the integration of order wave management and a voice-directed picking system. Central to this success are nearly 5,000 feet of linear conveyors combined with spiral conveyors to transport goods throughout the facility. The spiral conveyors recirculate containers vertically between pick modules, saving valuable floor space. Spiral conveyors (AmbaFlex, 877-800-1634) also allow for increased capacity within the pick module when compared to belt conveyors. The custom-designed spiral conveyors transport products between three levels with infeed elevations more than 12 feet above floor level in some instances. The combined design allows Navarre to combine cyclical picking with monthly new product releases—causing volume spikes for new stock keeping units (SKUs). Ultimately, total system requirements will exceed 25,000 SKUs. Click here to read the article online.
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