SSI Schaefer implements a state-of-the-art distribution centre for IKEA

Brought to you SSI Schaefer

When IKEA decided to build a new distribution centre in Montreal, Canada, the furniture retail company commissioned modular warehousing and logistics solutions provider SSI Schaefer with the implementation.

Core elements of the project are an automatic shuttle warehouse designed according to the 3D-MATRIX Solution concept, a high-bay warehouse (HBW) with 245,000 pallet storage locations, ergonomic multi-order-picking work stations, and the logistics software WAMAS.

The IKEA distribution centre in Montreal meets the future requirements of the furniture business and will ensure the supply of furniture stores and online business.

The traditional differentiation between the sales channels retail business and mail-order business has often merged into one omni-channel model. Furthermore, different order types, high ability to respond as well as permanent goods availability and maximum delivery quality even in peak times characterise the new world of furniture business — this results in changed requirements for intralogistics, according to SSI Schaefer. The “ultra-modern” IKEA distribution centre in Montreal meets these requirements and will ensure the supply of furniture stores and online business.

Optimum availability through automation

Twelve linear gantry robots by RO-BER Industrieroboter GmbH, in which SSI Schaefer is a majority stake owner, ensure efficient provision of in-house loading aids and optimise the goods-in process. A 750m electronic floor conveyor with 42 vehicles connects the goods-in stations to the HBW in silo design, the core of the logistics centre. It offers 245,000 pallet storage locations supplied by 30 energy-efficient Exyz storage and retrieval machines for double-deep storage and retrieval operations. The HBW will supply IKEA stores with single-item and mixed pallets. The latter will be compiled according to the ergonomics@work! concept at multi-order-picking work stations that are connected to the HBW by a second electronic floor conveyor with 35 vehicles on a 525m track in line with the person-to-goods principle using Put to Light displays.

Additionally, 36 Navette multi-level shuttles and 24 lifts in the 18-aisle shuttle warehouse ensure optimum provision of items for picking of online orders. The warehouse provides 12,000 bin storage locations and it has been designed according to the patented 3D-MATRIX Solution. Picking is carried out in accordance with the goods-to-person principle using put walls with a Put to Light function.

The WAMAS logistics software controls and optimises all processes in both automated warehouses, ensures effective and coordinated processes, as well as timely processing of store and online orders. Moreover, the logistics software is connected to the customer’s warehouse management system with a standardised interface. The visualisation and information software WAMAS Lighthouse is used to visualise warehouse processes and provides important key figures.

“At IKEA, we always strive to be more accessible, affordable and more sustainable for our customers. This requires an innovative logistics with fulfilment activities in various shapes and formats, all enabling IKEA to be a multi-channel retailer”, explained Claudio Marconi, head of Logistics Development of Inter IKEA.

The completion of the Montreal project is scheduled for spring 2020. As a result of the positive and coactive cooperation, SSI Schaefer will also implement two follow-up orders for IKEA in Torsvik (Sweden) and Lyssach (Switzerland).

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