The B & B Tools storage needs have increased considerably as a result of corporate acquisitions. This has led the business group to seek more modern alternatives to traditional storage methods. Of the new solutions, automatic storage systems have proved efficient.
The main reason for acquiring automatic systems was lack of space. The 22,000-square-metre Gothenburg warehouse, formerly owned by Schenker Logistics, is 12 metres high, and the company wanted to make as efficient use of the space as possible. The Tornado systems take up a total of 175 square metres of floor space.
‘The first time I saw an automatic storage system was at a fair in the early 2000s. However, the supplier was a small company and we didn’t dare initiate a large change with them. It was only when Constructor stepped into the picture that we were convinced by the quality and resources of the supplier,’ says warehouse manager Roger Svensson.
‘The products in the automatic systems were selected on the basis of their weight and turnover rate. The newest Tornados have 108 pallets that are each four metres wide and are positioned at vertical intervals of 10 or 20 cm. Storage space is utilised optimally, and when the pallets are loaded properly, we manage to maximise the picking efficiency,’ Svensson notes.
There are about 13,000 new order lines each day. Filling included, there are about 17,000 events within 24 hours. The company aims to double this figure with the new Tornado systems. This would mean over 100 tonnes of deliveries each day.
‘Currently, one picker picks about 110 lines per hour. The objective is at least 150 lines. We can achieve this simply by utilising the entire capacity of the automatic systems – in other words, placing more products on each pallet. After all, the machine does most of the work, so this gives us more pickings per tray,’ Svensson says.
Delivery reliability – the cornerstone of operations
The reliability of deliveries is essential for B & B Tools, and the company measures the reliability daily. The decisive factor in minimising incorrect picking is the laser used in the Tornados to indicate the correct picking position to the picker.
'In any event, the Tornado systems have helped us increase the reliability of deliveries to the required B & B Tools level. In the future, we may start utilising voice-controlled picking as well,’ Svensson predicts.
According to Tobias Sandström, the picker on shift, the best thing about the Tornados is that the products come to the picker and not vice versa. ‘Picking is really easy. Also, we can now pick the products from an ergonomically correct height,’ Sandström says
About B & B Tools
B & B Tools has nearly 200 member shops in the Nordic region, including more than 30 in Finland, to serve the industry’s needs for tools and supplies. The Tools chain consists of local companies and a uniform structure – business logic and the trademark. The group’s product selection includes nearly 500,000