Interfloor Conveyor system for Ingram Micro
Ingram Micro Commerce & Lifecycle Services, Northampton DC
As the world leader in logistics, commerce enablement, and device lifecycle services, Ingram Micro Commerce & Lifecycle Services plays a pivotal role in bridging supply and demand. Through a wide spectrum of services, ranging from cross-border fulfilment, returns management, to IT asset disposition, this global entity facilitates growth, augments ROI, and safeguards clients’ interests.
Ingram Micro caters to a diverse customer base — from emerging brands to Global 2000 enterprises — fueling their success through an expansive warehousing network, cutting-edge technology, strategic alliances, and decades of industry experience.
The Challenge: Streamlining Operations in Daventry
For its Daventry operation, Ingram Micro sought a system that would seamlessly integrate the packing and dispatch process while optimising space with a new three-tier mezzanine. The challenge was to manage boxes, cartons, and poly bags from all three levels, consolidating them on the ground floor before dispatch.
This ground-floor operation would function independently, utilising standalone conveyors. Furthermore, the system needed to be reversible to accommodate replenishment and alternative operations, requiring each line to have three distinct operating functions.
A Tailored Solution: Simple Yet Effective
After careful consultation and design deliberation, the winning strategy was a blend of simplicity and functionality. Each mezzanine floor system operated autonomously but was regulated through a central control panel. This approach minimised risk, simplified operations, and ensured flexibility during scheduled maintenance.
The ground-floor packing belt conveyors were equipped with their standalone control box. Tried-and-tested equipment and designs formed the core of this solution, drawing from the success of previous installations.
Incorporating Uniqueness: Different Needs for Different Levels
The second and third levels, designed to handle all product types, including poly bags, featured a 20m long packing conveyor belt feeding onto a compact AmbaFlex Ambaveyor slat conveyor. The product range then reached the ground floor through an AmbaFlex Spiral, offering a small footprint.
The first level catered only to cartons and totes, employing a 20m packing conveyor belt that led to some powered roller conveyor. Given the available space, a decline belt conveyor was ideal for transferring products to the ground floor.
All three levels used sections of the conveyor that sat off the mezzanine floor, necessitating a multi-tier support structure that incorporated all levels.
Multipurpose System: Three Modes for Maximum Efficiency
In line with Ingram Micro’s requirements, the system operated in three modes: decline to dispatch, reverse incline for stock replenishment, and a back-up mode for clearing the line into wheeled magnums during system issues.
Reflecting on the project, a spokesperson from Ingram Micro praised the new system for meeting their requirements, predicting that the benefits—increased throughput and reduced operating costs—would soon materialise.