Energy-efficiency and flexibility deliver sustainable sortation
Sorters cut energy consumption by up to 75%.
The integration of the world’s most energy-efficient sorters enables NIKE to drive growth and sustainability at the China Logistics Centre (CLC). In addition to ‘green’ sortation, the centre uses solar heating and rainwater collection to minimise the environmental impact of the centre. The design of the sortation system also supports an increase in capacity to meet future growth.
Handling inbound and outbound shipments of NIKE clothing and footwear for mainland China, the sortation technology enables NIKE to combine the highest energy-efficiency with increased shipping flexibility and accuracy. A higher level of productivity is added to the reduction of shipment time, cost and the sortation footprint.
The linear synchronous motor technology used by the CLC’s three LS-4000 cross-belt and tilt-tray sorters enable NIKE to minimise energy consumption; the technology cuts it by 75% compared to the drive technology used by conventional sorters.
Operational efficiency is increased because the sorting system provides the flexibility for NIKE to sort flats and parcels on the same system. The sorters also allow NIKE to combine multiple sortation processes: onwards shipment of whole cartons; cartons which contain a single batch of the same item; and cartons need to hold a mix of individual items.
The whole cartons for onward shipping are routed directly to the shipping sorter via three lanes which automatically print and apply labels. An additional bypass lane is used to minimise potential delays. Cartons which have a single batch of items are taken to the pre-sorter induction and those with items for packing into mixed-item cartons are transferred to the storage area.
After being unpacked, the individual items are placed onto totes which are merged with single-item cartons for induction onto the final LS4000CB cross-belt sorter. The items are automatically discharged into chutes which feature a custom design which increases the CLC’s productivity.
The custom design of the chutes on the final sorter includes dividers which separate the individual items into batches which are re-packed into multi-item cartons. The multi-item cartons are then sent, with the single-item cartons, to the LS-4000E tilt-tray shipping sorter. The shipping sorter discharges the cartons for palletising or for live loading onto outbound transport.
In addition to interfacing seamlessly with NIKE’s Warehouse Management System (WMS), the BEUMER software allows precise control of each sorter. Each parcel is tracked throughout sorting to avoid bottlenecks and to achieve faster throughput. In addition to system-wide visibility of work flow the software controls enable continual optimisation of the sortation process for each sorter.
A residential service agreement provides an on-site team from BEUMER Group to operate and maintain the sortation system. This specialist input enables the sorters to deliver maximum availability and to maintain operational security.
The combination of ‘green’ technology and custom sortation enables the CLC to meet an increased capacity and efficiency in addition to minimising the environmental impact.