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No Limit to sorting performance

Leading Polish third party logistics operator No Limit has awarded SDI Group a contract to install a PTU (Push Tray Unit) sorter at its multi-client distribution centre, located just outside Warsaw. The PTU sorter will transform sortation performance at the facility, increasing productivity by several hundred per cent compared to the existing manual process, allowing No Limit to offer an enhanced, faster and more accurate service to its retail clients. The sorter will also serve No Limit’s returns processing operations.

Serving the contract logistics market – including distribution warehouse management, B2B and B2C activities, co-packing, e-commerce and advanced trade and marketing projects – No Limit provides solutions for complex logistics challenges faced by small, medium and large companies throughout Poland and Europe. In addition to its Warsaw DC, the company operates facilities near Poznan and Sosnowiec.

SDI’s PTU is a push sorter that can handle a broad array of products from apparel to shoe boxes to small electronic devices. This is a vital capability for a 3PL wishing to offer a flexible service to a wide variety of retail customers.

The standard PTU sorter has 70 drops. However, to maximise the effectiveness for No Limit, SDI is providing double chutes, which means No Limit can handle more customers on the same machine. With 140 chutes on each side, No Limit will have a total of 280 active chutes available for sorting customer orders. Each lightweight aluminium tray on this unit is 500 x 500 mm.

To make the most efficient use of space in No Limit’s compact 6000 square metre warehouse, the PTU sorter will be placed on a mezzanine, with shipping and goods receiving activities taking place on the ground floor below.

In February 2013, SDI will install the PTU Sorter with 70 drops (140 chutes) and one induction platform to provide sortation of 5000 items per hour. A second phase planned for installation during June / July 2013, will see SDI adding another 140 chutes on the other side of the platform, taking capacity to 10,000 items per hour. SDI will also be providing the associated software and controls.

Given that No Limit will be working with new equipment, special attention will be given to training the operators. No Limit’s team leaders will be involved throughout the installation – as will the company’s maintenance people – to gain a full understanding of how the system works.

Commenting on the contract, Mariusz Rączka Customer Service Manager, from No Limit, said: "SDI’s PTU sorter will give No Limit a considerable productivity improvement, running to several hundred per cent. Without this solution to handle our projected growth in volumes for new customers we would need to move to a new, larger warehouse and employ more staff."

He added: "Being one of the first 3PLs in Poland to have this technology also gives No Limit a significant competitive edge, providing us with the speed and reliability to meet our customers’ demands for more efficient distribution and faster delivery times.

"SDI offers material flow solutions comprising class leading technology at a competitive price. They proposed a complete solution, which could be divided into phases to help us increase growth and volume, while phasing the investment."

Gordon Smith, Chief Executive of SDI Group, said: "We are proud to be helping No Limit gain a lead in the market by implementing our automated sortation technology. The PTU sorter provides the perfect solution not only for the accurate handling of increasing volumes but it also provides the flexibility to meet the demands of No Limit’s clients in a burgeoning retail sector."

He concluded: "While working on the design, No Limit could tap into our in-depth knowledge of retail business requirements. Working in a partnership means also that whenever No Limit needs to find a smart solution to a material flow challenge now or in the future, SDI will be able to support them with our skill and experience, and No Limit will be able to gain from a complete solutions that can be phased-in at a reasonable pace and price."

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