How NIKE Made Two Million Square Feet of Distribution Sustainable

Nike’s China Logistics Center (Taicang, Jiangsu) uses network, equipment and voice picking to operate more efficiently than traditional distribution centers.

Nike’s interest to do the best and being environmentally sustainable led the company to take advantage of a two million square foot distribution center, is the company’s largest distribution center in Asia.This center handeles apparel and footwear shipments for mainland China. The facility is designed to be more efficiently and accurately than other centers, they use conveyour network, high-tech sortation equipment and technologies.

To reduce energy consumption by 75 percente the company uses cross-belt and tilt-tray sorters instead of linear synchronous motor technology, this change is helping Nike to achieve his core corporate goals: increased operational efficiency, shipping flexibility and accuracy, lower handling costs, sustaintability.

Sortation Process
The process starts wby unloading cartons from trucks in the receiving area and then stacked on pallets, this later are moved to narrow aisle in the warehouse. Later pallet loads and cartons are selected from this aisels and transferred onto conveyor that merges cartons onto a line sorter. There are three destinations depending on how the goods are to be shipped.
Whole cartons for onward shpment are delivered to shipping sorter
Cartons with items ordered in whole-carton batches go to the pre-sorter induction area
Cartons containing items that will be collated into mixes-item shipments are sent to storage
Items unpacked are placed into storage racks where operators pick an place individual items into plastic totes. Conveyor transports the totes to a conveyor on level 2. These totes and whole cartons containing batches of the same item are then merged before being emptied and placed manually onto the cross-belt pre-sorter. This sorts the items in the totes into pre-defined hoppers, later these are emptied at the hopper tipping area, from where a system of belt conveyors transports them to manual inductions for loading onto the final sorter. This sorter is a second cross-belt, wich automatically distributes the individual items into chutes that have been specially designed for Nike . The chutes feature dividers that rise following the delivery of a complete batch, thereby separating it for packing into a single carton by the operator below. The carton is then pushed onto a roller conveyor for delivery to a Crisplant LS-4000E tilt-tray shipping sorter.

Sorters and controls

The sorter system and machine controls are integrated with Nike’s Warehouse Management System. Combining precise control of individual machines, with system-wide visibility of workflows, enables continual optimization of the system and avoidance of bottlenecks. Nike entered a service agreement with company Crisplant to ensure uptime, service engineers are stationed on-site for support and mantainance.


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