TVS Distribution Centre/Great Britain

Efficient order picking system for the small parts section with Hänel storage systems

The TVS company

TVS opened a 25,000 m2 distribution centre in Chorley (UK) at a cost of almost 25 million euros. The plans for the new facility envisaged the building of an efficient order picking system for the ‘Small Parts’ area of the distribution centre. To find the right solution and the right partner for this challenging project, TVS felt it was important to look at a variety of suppliers and solutions and check out their efficiency and integration capability. They chose Industore and Hänel Büro- und Lagersysteme.

The challenge

The challenge for both TVS and Industore was not only to design and implement a world class order picking system that would increase picking speed and accuracy across the board, but also to deliver a system that would be robust and reliable in order to cope with the increased quantities and workload anticipated by TVS.

The solution

The solution delivered by Hänel and Industore saw the integration of 20 Hänel Lean-Lifts®, each twelve metres high, grouped together into six separate activity zones. Each zone is serviced by a computer-controlled conveyor system. Bespoke Industore software is fully integrated with TVS’s ERP system and coordinates the functions of picking, replenishment and inventory control.
When pick orders are processed, the ERP system sends commands to the conveyor and controls the transactions associated with tote movements in and out of the zones.
The software organizes and coordinates the picking into totes within the zones, while the containers are placed in the Hänel Lean-Lifts® under space-optimizing criteria. Paperwork and orders are also handled by the system. Each Hänel Lean-Lift® is equipped with a label printer so that the picked parts can be tagged immediately with the relevant details such as customer, route, part description and order number.
On pick completion, the software automatically notifies TVS’s ERP system, which then initiates the dispatch process including the corresponding paperwork and invoicing.