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TriFactor White Papers

 

TriFactor shares thoughts on effective ways to reduce costs, increase capacity and improve the accuracy of your distribution facility.

Ways to Improve Material Handling Efficiency

 
Critical Factors when Choosing an Order Picking System

 

Planning a Warehouse or Distribution Center

 

Choosing a Conveyor System

 

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Articles featured in trade publications that highlight our Client Partners projects, TriFactor and information written by TriFactor's staff. 

 

The Five Most Common Mistakes When Planning a Distribution Center by TriFactor's Craig Bertorello and featured in Supply & Demand Chain Executive (online).  

 

Seven Factors to Consider When Choosing an Order Picking System by TriFactor's Richard Gillespie and featured in Industrial Distribution (online).

 

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Material Handling Case Study - Inmar

Company Description

Inmar was initially founded as a coupon clearing business and has transformed into a company that applies technology to complex transactions and operates intelligent commerce networks that improve the quality, efficiency and collaboration among retailers, manufacturers and other trading partners.  Inmar is a leader in reverse logistics technology and systems.

Assessment

Since the returns disposition varies for each return, Inmar needed greater flexibility to sort returns automatically by disposition type.  As there are value added processes required for specific customer returns, Inmar identified the need to automatically divert returns to cells that provide additional processing as required.

To better serve their customers, Inmar determined that automating returns processing was best achieved by replacing the single powered roller take-away conveyor with a new, more dynamic and capable system located in their new larger facility in Plant City FL.

Situation

Inmar’s reverse logistics processing center in Lakeland, FL handles returned product for customer companies operating across the Southeast United States. The reverse logistics operation consisted of manual depalletizing operations, gravity feeder lines for operator processing of returns, a central powered conveyor take away line to take totes and cases designated for return to stock, donations, liquidation or destruction, trash conveyor and storage rack.  Inmar manually sorted all outbound orders manually which was labor intensive.  Due to an increased customer base and organic growth, Inmar needed a larger facility to ensure that they could meet their customer service demands. 

Solution

TriFactor designed and installed a conveyor system and sortation transfers that satisfied the variety of value added services required for their customers.   The myriad of cases and totes and transfer options required a robust conveyor with accumulation capability.  To meet these challenges, the system was designed with Zero Pressure 24V Motor Driven Roller conveyor, timing belt transfers and powered MDR spurs for value added processes.

As operators receive returned product, the contents are scanned into their processing system and repacked into cases and totes.  They are placed onto a central zero pressure accumulation take-away conveyor and scanned to determine if further value-added processing is required.  Cases and totes requiring additional processing are diverted 90 degrees with timing belt transfers.

Upon completion of the additional processing, totes and cases are placed onto a feeder line to resume pack out operations.  They are then palletized by condition type and sent back to customer of origin. 

 

In addition to new system integration, TriFactor value engineered salvageable equipment to provide an economical solution.  Trash conveyor was refurbished with new drives and sprockets, vertical and horizontal compactors were reconditioned and integrated into the new system and structural rack was classified, and supplemented as necessary with new frames,  beams and necessary hardware.

Result

The project provided Inmar with much improved capability to provide value added services for their customers while increasing the throughput of the returns processing system.  Because of the new system, operator travel, lifting requirements and efficiency was significantly improved to provide better customer service to Inmar customers.

ROI

2 Years

System Summary

Customer:
Inmar

 

TriFactor Provided:
Design Engineering
Material Handling Equipment
Mechanical & Electrical Installation
Scanning & Controls
Demo and Refurbishment of Existing Equipment
On-Site Project Management

 

Size:
150,000 square feet

 

Facility Type:
Distribution

 

Products Handled:
Cartons/Totes Filled with Returned Merchandise from Customers

 

Markets Served:
US

 

Products Utilized:
24V Zero Pressure Accumulation Conveyor
24V Timing Belt Transfers
Scanner
Gravity Conveyor
Remote Panel