An automated garment conveying system supplied and installed by Dürkopp Fördertechnik – part of the KNAPP Group – is helping John Lewis service its continuing omni-channel growth. The system is operating at John Lewis’s new 675,000 sq ft Magna Park 2 distribution centre at Milton Keynes which has 71 dock doors, 141 HGV parking spaces and is linked to Magna Park 1 by a 96 metre bridge.
Magna Park 2 – which alone could accommodate more than 9,000 double-decker buses – features Dürkopp’s “trolley-less” conveyor technology whereby the hangers are carried directly on the conveyor, which enables both single items and blocks of garments to be transported on the same system.
The receiving area also features telescopic booms that can extend up to 10 metres for vehicle unloading. Three scanning systems – each capable of processing 3,000 items an hour – handle all the incoming merchandise.
The hanging garment storage area has six levels, divided into static and dynamic sections with the static storage area – which uses the Dürkopp “trolley-less” system – having the capacity to store 1.4 million items. The dynamic storage area has 126 buffers and uses Dürkopp’s RFID controlled Rolladapter technology where every garment carries unique product information in real time for tracking, picking and sorting. The Rolladapter technology allows the use of a wide range of plastic or metal hangers and can carry some 380,000 items with a rotation capacity per buffer of around 7,000 items per hour.
The Rolladapter system is also in use in the fully automated garment sortation area which features two automatic labeling systems and can handle up to 5,000 items an hour. The 3-stage sequence sorter ensures that batch picked product is delivered in a store friendly sequence to the John Lewis branches whilst e-commerce items are transported to the packing benches in exact order sequence for online delivery.
Annette Sommer, General Manager UK at Dürkopp Fördertechnik, commented: “We are delighted that our proven technology means that – for the first time – John Lewis can process hanging garments at its Magna Park campus and consolidate hanging garments with other goods for both store replenishment and online orders. The fully automated system ensures all goods are quickly sorted into the correct order for dispatch to stores or direct to the consumer.”
“The ability to consolidate goods in this way is crucial for the business,” explained John Munnelly, Head of Operations at the Magna Park Campus, “because some 40% of fashion orders include what we call ‘binnable’ items – those stored in totes – such as shoes and accessories.” The consolidation of orders between MP1 and MP2 is reducing the total number of orders, which results in a significant saving in transport costs.
For further information contact:
Tel: 01455 299890 / 07976 690479 – www.duerkopp.com