Axiom GB has designed and installed an 18 metre long roller conveyor system alongside 18 packing benches for Out of Eden. Based in Cumbria, Out of Eden is a specialist supplier of hospitality products through mail order deliveries.
With a need to increase throughput and efficiencies during the order picking and despatch process, Out of Eden’s Managing Director, Mike Gannon, contacted Axiom GB. Mike Gannon formerly worked for Lakeland where Axiom had previously installed an automated packing system. The automated system at Lakeland significantly increased productivity by saving the company 40-60 seconds per order.
Following a brief from Out of Eden, Axiom produced an automated solution to transport parcels from the packing hall to the outside loading and marshalling area. The system is designed to handle up to 1250 parcels per hour of the varying carton sizes used by the company.
Trolley picked orders are delivered to the packing benches where they are packed into a shipping carton, along with the appropriate marketing literature and void fill.
The shipping carton is then sealed and check weighed. At this point, the operator transfers the parcel from the static weigh scale to the conveyor. Once the parcel is placed onto the line, the conveyor will start automatically. Whilst the conveyor is not in use, it uses a ‘sleep’ energy saving function which also keeps noise to a minimum. The conveyor line runs past the packaging benches and through a hole in the wall to the dispatch area.
The Out of Eden conveyor is split into 750mm long zones, each zone is controlled so that it will only run when the next zone along is empty, or parcels are moving on it. This zero line pressure approach creates adequate spacing to prevent parcels from pushing into each other on the line. This not only makes it easier to load and unload parcels but it also prevents any parcel damage.
A fire door is fitted between the packing hall and the dispatch hall; it will only close if the fire alarm is activated. The fire door system interfaces with the conveyor system to prevent a build-up of parcels on either side of the door.
Once the parcels reach the fire door they are held until the line after the door is clear. Sensors are fitted to ensure the fire door area is kept clear unless a parcel is moving through the area.
Outside of the packing hall, the parcels travel around a 90 degree bend in the conveyor line onto the unloading section of the conveyor. If the unloading section of the conveyor is full, the parcels are held on the bend. Once the unloading section is clear, the parcels move forward into position.
Axiom supplied a main control panel, which is positioned adjacent to the conveyor as it travels through the fire door. The main panel displays any operational warnings such as if the emergency stop is pressed. It also has a warning lamp that illuminates if the dispatch-unloading conveyor gets full. There are also features to start and stop the system and reset emergency stop conditions.
When designing the automated system at Out of Eden, Axiom ensured that it can be upgraded to include direct delivery to standing trailers. This has futureproofed the conveyor system, extending its life cycle to meet the projected company requirements.