Axiom Case Studies

Manual Cross Docking System

  • Cost effective palletisation eases delivery
  • Integration with SAP
  • R/F based picking – eliminates errors
  • Pallet based shipping manifests
  • Interfaces with carrier systems
  • Flexible configuration
  • Speeds picking/pack/dispatch processes
  • Bulk or wave picks increase picking efficiency
  • Helps eliminate customer/supplier shipping error claims

Palletways, the UK's market leader in the overnight distribution of small consignments of palletised freight were faced with a requirement to carry out a secondary level sort for one of their clients.

By delivering containers of bulk picked product to Palletways site in Fradley the customer was able to improve picking efficiency, whilst with the knowledge that the product would be sorted into final consignments by Palletways. Containers of product arrive at Fradley where they are unloaded and manually sorted using Axiom's manual cross docking facility into shipping consignments.

The shipping data is passed to Palletways enabling them to automatically print pallet labelling documentation, update tracking data and handle the consignment in their overnight distribution operation.

Initially Palletways were looking to automatically sort the product into customers' orders but the capital investment for the project did not fit the pay back requirements and the project team felt that automation would be too restrictive. However, Axiom was still able to supply Palletways with a manual cross docking system.

The customer picks the product and loads it onto one or more trucks which arrive at Palletways and are unloaded. A central Linux server based at Palletways receives e-mail from Palletways' customer which is unpacked and broken down into data files. Typically one data file contains all the data for a collection of consignments & is known as a shipment.

The system is supplied with a web based user interface for control and configuration. Axiom breaks the shipment data down into single shipments, consolidating wherever possible multiple customer orders into one shipment or consignment. The total shipment is activated via a web browser user interface.

The system then allocates the consignments - by largest volume first - to consolidation areas or floor spots. Each floor spot is labelled with a barcode location. If there are more consignments than floor spots the balance is queued for processing when floor spots become free.

Wrist mounted R/F hand held scanners are used to scan each item. The system looks at each consignment and sends the picker with the item to the floor spot. The floor spot is scanned to bind the item to the consignment. Data files are automatically updated and checks are made to ensure that the wrong item is not bound to a floor spot.

When the consignment is complete the system automatically prints consignment shipping documentation and generates a shipping manifest via Palletways' systems. Completed consignments are removed from the floor spot.