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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-Passion Growers

Company Description

Passion Growers, founded in 2001, is a family-oriented company dedicated to growing and providing the most beautiful and highest-quality roses. Passion Growers’ 180 varieties of roses can be found in more than 5,000 retail and grocery stores around the country.

Situation

The company’s peak season is centered around Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day, which are both during the first quarter of the year. As Passion Growers’ business has continued to increase over the past few years, they have used refrigerated warehouse space in a warehouse adjacent to their existing operations for overflow handling during this peak season. This overflow handling was accomplished without automation and required pallets of product to be constantly shuffled back and forth between warehouses, which became extremely inefficient and time consuming. 

Assessment

In the months ahead of the peak season, the Passion Growers and TriFactor teams collaborated on how to best use the adjacent warehouse space available with the goals of increasing efficiency, throughput and accuracy of receiving full pallets of cases of flowers, unloading, sorting and then palletizing for store shipments Since cut flowers inherently do not have a long shelf life before they lose their natural beauty, a fast and accurate automated system would reduce flower time in the warehouse and lengthen the time that their customers get to enjoy the beautiful flowers.

Solution

TriFactor designed and installed a sliding shoe sortation system with nine divert lanes and a recirculation loop to improve the speed of receiving pallets, unloading cases and sorting them to the various divert lanes for mixed-case pallet building.

At the sortation induction is an omni-directional camera scan tunnel that captures bar codes on each box and communicates with Passion Grower’s host system, Vida Flowers, for appropriate lane assignment. This new system completely removes the inefficient manual handling for breaking down full pallets and sorting them to various mixed-case pallets for store order fulfillment.

ROI

12 to 18 months

System Summary

Customer: Passion Growers

 

TriFactor Provided:
Design Engineering
Material Handling Equipment
Mechanical & Electrical Installation
PLC Controls Programming
Camera Scanning and Communications
Host Interface & Communications

 

Size: 65,000 Square Feet

 

Facility Type:
Manufacturing & Distribution

 

Products Handled:
Boxed Flowers (Roses)

 

Markets Served:
U.S.

 

Products Utilized:
Zero Pressure Photo-Eye Accumulation Conveyor
Gapping and Camera Scanning
High Speed Sliding Shoe Sorter
Gravity Roller Conveyor Pallet Building Lanes