20th November 2023

How We Helped Deliver the Next Innovation in Order Fulfilment System Technology

Explore the incredible automated order fulfilment system we helped establish for STIHL within their headquarters and warehouse facility in Camberley.

Read how we provided a cutting-edge automated order fulfilment system with Swisslog for power tool pioneers STIHL. And learn why AutoStore’s automated technology is the future of order fulfilment and replenishment solutions.

AutoStore Installation

What is Order Fulfilment?

From point of sales to product delivery, an order fulfilment system provides a complete process for consumer operations and distribution warehouse workflows.

Typically, the process includes the following stages:

  • Receiving goods
  • Storage (Short-term within a warehouse or distribution centre)
  • Consumer order processing (Picking and packing)
  • Delivery and logistics

With tracking and control across each stage of the order fulfilment process, the system enables businesses to satisfy consumers with efficient order processing and delivery services.

Order fulfilment systems have become an impressive and powerful advantage as a driving force in the e-commerce industry, with the e-commerce fulfilment market alone projected to grow at a CAGR of 19.4% between 2021 and 2028.

Automated Order Fulfilment System in Action

When companies invest in a fully automated order fulfilment system, they gain technology that optimises the supply chain, reduces labour, increases customer satisfaction, and drives sales. In effect, automated order fulfilment systems help companies streamline their processes.

Starting with the inventory, a business can apply various integrated automated solutions across the following tasks:

  • Replenishment and purchase orders
  • Assigning operations
  • Warehouse tracking
  • Syncing order and inventory details across all sales channels
  • Multi-channel inventory management

After completing the numerous inventory tasks, automation can continue to apply to product distribution, which includes picking, packing and final delivery. These processes can all be managed and controlled with advanced robotics and enhanced conveyor systems.

Therefore, a warehouse fitted with automated order fulfilment technology integrated across software, machinery and equipment produces quicker processes, greater accuracy, and higher productivity.

Automation is not just a trend. It represents the future and how businesses can stay competitive while scaling faster and for the long term.

For STIHL, we wanted to provide a state-of-the-art solution within the 9,000m2 warehouse, complete with top-of-the-range picking and storage systems.

What is AutoStore?

In the case of the electrical design and installation of the order fulfilment system we managed alongside Swisslog, we provided a pioneering and user-friendly solution that harnesses the power of robotics alongside sortation and space-efficient features.

AutoStore has revolutionised order fulfilment and replenishment tasks with innovative automation, robotics and space efficiency solutions.

Let’s just say that if your order fulfilment system was the goal, AutoStore has just become the all-time top goal scorer. The incredible innovation makes it hard to imagine a world where inventory, picking, and replenishment tasks could become any more advanced.

Plus, in this project for STIHL, we managed to integrate additional steelwork, paving the way for a further second construction of an AutoStore system directly above when necessary.

AutoStore Storage Systems

The AutoStore system has redefined order fulfilment across storage and picking, transforming inventory to condense into minimal space, enabling businesses to become more space-efficient, streamlined and safe.

Statistics show AutoStore systems with a global 99.7% uptime record, with customers achieving a mean time between failures (MTBF) of over 3,000 hours.

AutoStore works in a cube-based system to maximise facility areas. So, rather than having traditional shelves and long walkways taking room in your warehouse or distribution centre, your goods and items are condensed into a cube of compartments or “bins”.

AutoStore Picking System

Robots travel above the bins automatically on tracks before locating and collecting items to distribute to the designated workstation.

Reaching a bin lower in the cube means the robot digs out the item systematically, keeping less frequently ordered products at the bottom and popular ones at the top.

Systematically stacking the bins allows the digging process to remain minimal, sustaining efficiency and high-speed operations for order fulfilment or replenishment.

An Overview of the Automated Order Fulfilment System We Provided

So, while AutoStore provides an incredible order fulfilment and replenishment solution for STIHL, they still require the electrical design and installation to ensure it has the infrastructure to hold and the power to run.

Our team provided the following electrical design and installation services:

  • Installation of 75w LED lighting
  • Electrical installation of 250amp three-phase distribution board and surge protection unit
  • The wiring and installation of 19 robot chargers
  • Design and installation of LED Lighting around the AutoStore infeed and outfeed areas
  • Installed power and data to picking stations and work desks

The culmination of our skills, expertise and experience resulted in the successful delivery of this innovative order fulfilment system. A seamless collaboration between all parties enabled the project to finish on schedule with remarkable efficiency across only 60-man days and all within the allocated budget.

We’re glad the successful delivery of the AutoStore order and storage system met our client’s immediate needs while future-proofing their long-term scalability.

Supporting this long-term vision with the additional steelwork meant we helped prepare the facility to meet the growing demand created by this solution while adapting to any evolving industry requirements.

Speak to Electrical Design and Installation Specialists

As an industry leader in automation control, Hills Electrical is here to empower organisations with state-of-the-art electrical design and installation services.

We’re passionate about helping forward-thinking businesses continue moving in the right direction by elevating operations and streamlining processes.

So, if you’re interested to know more about how our cutting-edge solutions can improve your business, get in touch today and receive your free assessment.

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