COOP Reports Benefits of Using TMHE’s Pick-n-Go Forklift


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A goods supplier giant in Switzerland, COOP, has recently invested in the semi-automated order picking system Pick-n-Go from Material Handling Europe (TMHE). Ever since, COOP has noticed a major increase in their productivity as well as warehouse safety.

The employees benefit from improved ergonomics thanks to the trucks’ automatic fork height adjustment and ‘pick-by-voice’ control.

Learn how the autopilot trucks help COOP drive down material handling costs:

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COOP Reports Benefits of Using TMHE’s Pick-n-Go Forklift

  1. 1. Case Story / COOP Distribution / Logistics Switzerland’s COOP drives down its order picking costs with Pick-n-Go from TMHEContext & challenges TMHE’s Pick-n-Go means that an operator is not required The COOP is one of Switzerland’s leading daily for the processes of fetching empty roll cages and de-goods suppliers, employing over 50,000 people across positing them at the despatch area – this is performed800 sites. Its Aclens distribution centre near Lausanne automatically by the trucks. This has led to a significantsupplies 200 stores in the French-speaking part of the increase in truck availability, with machines typically be-country. ing in the aisles for picking 80% of the time, up from 70% before the implementation of Pick-n-Go.With a logistics operation on this scale the COOP is al-ways looking for ways to improve its processes in order Sylvain Galé, responsible dairy operations, comments:to reduce costs and increase quality. “The picker doesn’t perform certain tasks he used to do before such as going on and off the truck,��������������� manually driv- ��������������Solutions ing the truck, and finding a location. … As part of the programme the COOP has recentlyinvested in a new semi-automated order picking systemfrom Toyota Material Handing Europe called Pick-n-Go. Facts & figuresPick-n-Go integrates their existing warehouse manage- Swiss COOPment system with a new fleet of laser-guided trucks and — Employs 50,000 peopletheir operators using ‘pick-by-voice’ headsets. The truckswork alongside the operators, leaving them free to concen- — clens distribution centre supplies 200 stores with Atrate on picking while the trucks take care of the driving. 40,000 product lines on 12,000 roll cages a day — Order picking performed with 15 BT Autopilot SAE200Sebastien Jacquet, COOP’s Logistics Director, explains: semi-automatic pallet trucks“The first advantage we saw is a productivity increase.The operator can focus on the main job, which is picking Resultsthe orders. There has also been an increase in safety forour pickers. The trucks are very safe, with no more ac- — Average pick rate up by 20%cidents involving people and goods. And another benefit — Overall output rate up by 40%is the improvement in ergonomics for our pickers with — Return on investment expected within 5 yearsautomatic height adjustment and ‘pick-by-voice’ control.”
  2. 2. “… All those operations aren’t necessary anymore. We and operational flexibility. On the first point, the COOP isnoted that by eliminating these operations, as the truck confident that its order picking operators prefer the newdrives automatically, that the operator’s performance – system. In fact, when the opportunity arises, they don’tthe pick rate – increased significantly. We’ve seen an in- want to go back to the old way of working.crease of 20% in total from 280 to 300 items per hour tocurrently between 340 and 350.” TP - Technical Publications, Sweden —This increase in picking productivity and net picking timeadds up to a growth in output of some 40%.The Autpilot trucks move from the day shift at the dairywarehouse to the fruit and vegetable section for the eve-ning and night shifts.When COOP analysed its order picking operations it noti-ced some problem areas. For example, the fruit and veg-etable section was often congested due to a combinationof relatively narrow aisles and a high number of trucks.Sebastien Jacquet, explains the solution: “The majorchange in this section has been the picking configura- As for the ability of the system to cope with changes intion. We used to work in a Z pattern, which means the the business, Sebastien Jacquet is also confident: “Thismachine stops, the operator goes on the right side then system allows a certain flexibility. If tomorrow we want toon the left side. We have decided together with Toyota to have more or fewer trucks, and if we want to change theimplement a one-sided picking technique. This has im- layout we can do it with this system. And the trucks canmediately led to a smoother flow in this section.” always be taken over manually if necessary, to guaran-Damage reduction is another measurable benefit from tee continuous picking.the Pick-n-Go system, and the guidance and safety sys- “We are satisfied with Pick-n-Go and we are assessingtems are proving extremely effective. the possibility of implementing it at our Bern distribu-“Thanks to the Autopilot trucks we noticed a decrease in tion centre and also in a new site that we are planning.damage because they adapt their speed to the environ- The new system is better ergonomically, which is veryment – and their sensors ensure they stop automatically important for sustainable development and for the keyif they detect an obstacle.” social goals of our company.”Automated handling systems are sometimes perceivedto have negative consequences in two key areas: staff TOYOTA MATERIAL HANDLING EUROPE, MANAGING THE TOYOTA AND BT MATERIALS HANDLING BRANDS IN EUROPE.