REDwire Material handling system increases throughput for manufacturer

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Wecon had to work very closely with both Ash City and the construction company, planning weeks ahead to make sure everything was installed in the correct sequence and according to the project schedule.

Thanks to Ash City’s remarkable growth, it required a new distribution centre that would allow for the consolidation of multiple DCs into one, making inventory, order fulfillment and shipping and receiving operations easier to control. The final design consisted of a 200,000-square-foot facility with a 30-foot high clear ceiling in Richmond Hill, Ont.

The challenge was to install a DC system to house a single selective racking system of more than 16,000 pallet positions, a three-level picking tower with another 12,000-plus picking slots, and a material handling system in the new facility — all while the base business continued to operate seamless to the outside world.

Wecon Systems, a Mississauga, Ont.-based material handling systems integrator, was up to the challenge. 

The only way to make this all happen in a timely fashion was for Wecon to work very closely with both Ash City and the construction company, planning weeks ahead to make sure everything was installed in the correct sequence and according to the project schedule. Receiving of the major components of equipment had to take place before the floor was even poured in the DC. Creative thinking had to be applied in order to take advantage of cost savings for rapidly increasing steel costs. A temporary storage area had to be created, filled and secured outside the facility so the concrete floors could be poured on schedule. Construction of the major structures started the day after the floors were cured enough to handle the loads about to be applied to them. Separate crews had to be used so that both ends of the building could be under construction at the same time. 

Once things got under way, everything happened very quickly. The over 16,000 pallet position single selective racking system and the three-level pick tower started taking shape. As soon as the floors were roughed in for the pick tower, the conveyor system started being installed, screws were going down in the floor and conveyor sections were going up right behind them. Multiple crews had to work very closely to get everything done on schedule. 

At the end of the project, Ash City ended up with a new facility consisting of more than 16,000 single selective pallet positions, a three-level pick tower of over 45,000 square feet of space and more than 12,000 pick locations, a carton flow selection system, more than 1,000 feet of powered conveyor, and over 1,400 feet of gravity picking lines to transport picked orders through the building into the shipping area. In addition, a dedicated trash handling system was incorporated to move used corrugate directly to an automatic compactor in the parking lot.

The new system has increased throughput and decreased the amount of case handling. Now the customer’s system has the ability to meet the shipping rates required for the targeted business growth.

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Wecon Systems Ltd.

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