Perfect Pick® Delivers High-Value Electronics for Newegg
Safety. Quality. Productivity.That’s a winning combination in any distribution center. And at Newegg’s 420,000 sq. ft. Indianapolis DC, two aisles of Perfect Pick® from OPEX® have been delivering all three at the highest level for more than four years. Just ask Chuck Cornwell, GM and Senior Operations Manager at the facility. “Perfect Pick covers it all,” he says. And that’s not easy in an e-commerce fulfillment center for an ever-changing lineup of electronic consumer products.
In fact, the Perfect Pick aisles (100 feet long and 28 feet tall) manage 5,000 small (less than 19 inches on a side), yet high-value SKUs. They include solid state drives, desktop memory, processors, laptops and USB drives. Within an aisle, two side-by-side modular rack units store a total of 1,750 totes of inventory. Intelligent, autonomous robotic delivery vehicles called iBOT®s run in the aisle between the racks, delivering and retrieving totes on command. There are 15 iBOTs in each Perfect Pick to handle both put away and retrieval of totes.
“Safety is our top priority here at Newegg,” explains Cornwell. “And the Perfect Picks are as safe as can be. To begin, order pickers are not exposed to any moving parts of the equipment. In fact, totes delivered to a workstation at the end of the aisle are presented ergonomically to the order picker. As a result, operators don’t get fatigued picking items from the totes.” Then there’s the matter of quality. Also known as picking accuracy. Cornwell puts that at 99.95%. That’s tough for any picking operation to beat.
Next up is productivity. Perfect Pick is top of the class here, too. Each aisle manages 400 to 500 picks an hour per employee. That’s at least twice what can be done in the three-level pick module that uses voice, light and R/F scanning throughout different zones in pick module. “The key here,” says Cornwell, “is the elimination of travel time with the Perfect Pick.” The iBOTs deliver totes directly to the order picker at the end-of-aisle workstation. An overhead light designates the cell in the tote for picking while a monitor shows a picture of the item to pick and the number of items needed to ensure a correct pick the first time.The order picker scans the item barcode to confirm pick accuracy. If the item carries a serial number, that too is scanned to begin the registration and warranty process. A lighted arrow then designates the staged shipping box awaiting the item. When the order is complete, order pickers release the boxes on a conveyor to shipping. “Everything is so compact that order pickers travel only a very few steps to fill any individual order. That’s several orders of magnitude fewer than what is normally able to be done anywhere else,” says Cornwell.
Besides safety, quality and productivity, there’s one other great benefit of the Perfect Pick - Security.“Everything in the system is a high-value item that could easily be worth $1,000 or more. Once an item goes into the Perfect Pick, we know it’s not coming out unless we need it to fill an order,” explains Cornwell. So after more than four years, would Cornwell add another Perfect Pick to the operation? “You bet we would,” he says. “Perfect Pick is the type of innovation we deploy to live up to our Shopping Upgraded motto.”
Clearly, Perfect Pick continues to deliver a winning combination of safety, quality and productivity with an added bonus of security at Newegg.
Gary Forger is the former editor of Modern Materials Handling magazine and the Material Handling & Logistics U.S. Roadmap to 2030.