Onninen builds new automated warehouse to improve order fulfilment and customer service

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Onninen has selected Vanderlande Industries to design and implement the material handling system (including warehouse control system) for its new order fulfilment centre in Hyvink, Finland. The new order fulfilment system will enable Onninen to significantly improve order picking performance (up to 600 order lines per operator per hour), while ensuring ergonomic working conditions for the operators throughout the warehouse. This was also the main reason why Onninen selected Vanderlande. It will also enable Onninen to reduce order throughput time, improving customer service levels. The new order fulfilment centre will become operational by the end of 2010.

Onninen is a family-owned company from Finland and operates in northern Europe. The company provides comprehensive materials services to contractors, industry, public utilities and technical product retailers. According to Onninen Oy's Logistics Director Mr. Kai Srkel, the main advantage of Vanderlande's solution proved to be the high level of ergonomics thanks to the @EASE workstation family, which is implemented throughout the warehouse process.
The @EASE workstation family was first introduced in the order picking area. Now, it can also be implemented in the receiving area. The @EASE workstation family enables a proven sustainable high operator performance thanks to ergonomic design principles, which were applied right from the start of development. Objective was to design workstations which measurably improve operator performance, decrease risk of work-related injury, illness and operator discomfort and therefore improve the quality of work life. The high performance PICK@EASE  workstation has been developed in close cooperation with Dutch research institute TNO, which is one of Europe's largest Institutes for technological and strategic research and consultancy, with expertise in ergonomics. TNO researched the actual product on its ergonomic merits during a series of real-life operator tests held at Vanderlande's Innovation Centre in Veghel, the Netherlands.

In Onninen's order fulfilment centre, goods coming in at receiving will be unpacked and placed into multi-compartment totes at 4 ergonomic RECEIVE@EASE workstations. The totes are automatically transported to a 4-aisle QUICKSTORE HDS AS/RS system. This fully automated storage area contains 38,720 storage locations. High storage density saves floor space and operational costs. From the storage area, product totes are automatically sent to the order picking area. Two high-performance ergonomic PICK@EASE workstations enable operators to deliver a sustainable high pick performance of up to 600 order lines per operator per hour, while ensuring ergonomic working conditions. Products are picked directly into shipping totes and cartons (pick/pack), reducing manual handling. Finished shipping totes and cartons are sent to the manual packing area, where value added services are done where necessary (labelling, void filling). The entire warehouse process is managed by Vanderlande's VISION warehouse control system (WCS), interfaced with the SAP ERP system. "Thanks to the new order fulfilment system Onninen will be able to reduce order throughput time, improving the service level we can provide to our customers," Mr. Srkel says.
The new order fulfilment centre will become operational by the end of 2010.

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