The Fragrance Shop’s Journey to Sustainability & Automation

PACKAGING AUTOMATION

for Enhanced Customer Experience

Project Objectives / Requirements

Setting The Scene

Established in 1994, The Fragrance Shop is the UK’s largest independent, fragrance retailer. Operating through online channels and retail stores, they showcase over 6,000 items across their luxury fragrance and beauty products range.

The Fragrance Shop (TFS) had experienced significant growth in recent years, and as part of their objectives for expansion to manage the increase in their e-commerce operations, they had taken a lease at Metro 190 in the heart of Trafford Park, Manchester to provide the business with a new state-of-the-art Headquarters and Fulfilment Centre.

Having previously relied on manual pick operations to fulfil their customers’ online orders, the move to Metro 190 – a prime urban logistics facility totalling 190,660 sq ft incorporating high spec offices and a large warehouse – provided TFS with the opportunity to improve their online sales operations through the automation of their order packaging process. This would not only enhance efficiency and customer service, it would also support their sustainability objectives and complement the environmental credentials of the new facility.

As part of TFS’s drive for efficiency and sustainability, they had invested in a CMC Genesys automated packaging machine which feeds and packs multi-line orders via their patented Vary-Totes, creating a unique structure to match the exact box template required for each order, thereby optimising cardboard consumption.

Efficiency reaches new heights as Vary-Totes glide through the fully automated system

In order to facilitate this highly efficient order packing process, the Vary-Totes need to arrive at and depart from the Genesys machine via a fully automated system.

Through an introduction from Amspec, an office interior company who had designed and installed a contemporary, high quality fit-out for TFS at the new premises, LAC was selected to provide the expertise needed to design and install a solution that would fully automate their order packing process.

750 totes per hour

Handles over 6,000 SKUs

Reduced packaging waste

100m of conveyor solution

“Amspec’s introduction paved the way for LAC to provide the expertise needed. Their solution fully automates our order packing process, underscoring our dedication to streamlining operations.”
– The Fragrance Shop

Zone-Based Tote Management for Streamlined Processing

The Challenge

One of the key challenges for this project was the need to provide an automated solution that would integrate seamlessly with the CMC Vary-Totes, to ensure the efficient delivery of order items to the Genesys packing machine, and then the return of the Vary-Totes to the operational area for manual pickers to use for subsequent orders.

To fit within the allocated space the design would also need to overcome differing heights from the start of the conveyor line, through the CMC packaging machine, and returning to the manual pickers.

Additionally, an automated infeed and outfeed would be required to avoid manual placement of items onto the conveyor system used for packing.

The Three-Tier Conveyor Solution

The Solution

Following discussions with TFS, LAC designed and installed a fully integrated conveyor solution and carried out a comprehensive testing programme on-site to ensure a seamless integration with the CMC Genesys machine.

The solution combined three types of conveyors: a 24V DC powered roller and accumulation conveyor, belt conveyor and gravity roller conveyor.

A 24V roller conveyor was fitted to create a 44m run of zero line pressure at higher level, which feeds into the CMC Genesys, with a continuous loop consisting of a gravity and belt conveyor integrated with a second 30m length of 24V roller conveyor along the lower section. This lower section completed the circuit, delivering the Vary-Totes back to the manual pickers to begin the order picking process once more.

The entire conveyor system is capable of handling 170 totes at any one time, with 149 zones – where each zone handles an individual tote – along the roller conveyor feeding into the Genesys machine. This capability ensures a significant number of totes containing order items can be processed along the continuous in-feed.

The solution combined three types of conveyors: a 24V DC powered roller and accumulation conveyor, belt conveyor and gravity roller conveyor.

The entire conveyor system is capable of handling 170 totes at any one time, with 149 zones – where each zone handles an individual tote – along the roller conveyor feeding into the Genesys machine. This capability ensures a significant number of totes containing order items can be processed along the continuous in-feed.

The Benefits

The LAC system has helped TFS to fully automate their order packing process, improving throughout and overall operational efficiency.

The fully integrated conveyor solution works seamlessly with the CMC Genesys packaging machine, and is capable of achieving a throughput of 750 totes per hour. It is however, built to manage 850 totes per hour to future-proof the client’s operations against planned growth and peak periods.

Overall, the implementation of LAC’s solution has provided The Fragrance Shop with a system that will enhance efficiency and the quality of their order packing process, and ultimately, better serve their valued customers.

750 totes per hour

Handles over 6,000 SKUs

Reduced packaging waste

100m of conveyor solutions

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