Hermes have invested £1m at their Rugby hub, to install a carousel capable of handling larger packages (known as ugly freight) which would normally have required manual handling.
The system has two automatic infeeds from boom conveyors which can extend into trailers to assist with offloading parcels and two manual infeeds which can handle items up to 2m long, 1.2m wide and weighing anything up to 50kg.Each of the four infeeds onto the main carousel incorporate the latest scanning, volumetric and weighing technologies that identify and accurately profile the packages. Automatic checks are carried out on each parcel to ensure they have been correctly labelled before being transferred onto the carousel itself.
The investment ensures that the Rugby depot can handle well in excess of a million parcels per day. At the time of opening the Rugby Hub in August 2017 it was the UK’s largest courier hub. With a two tier conveyor system the site can handle a million parcels a day, a third conveyor could be installed on top of the existing two to take their total capacity at the sites to 1.5 million parcels per day.
A parcel can be offloaded from a collection container onto the conveyor system and without being touched by human hand will whizz along at 5.6 miles per hour (I can’t run that fast!) and exit down a chute to the delivery truck, at any of 174 docks for trucks, in just two or three minutes. Now ugly freight can also be handled with automation speeding up the process.
“This is one of the first systems in the UK to incorporate an auto-scanning and profiling functionality onto a high-speed carousel system.
Whether it is a curtain pole, ironing board or a set of golf clubs, the carousel is able to streamline the movement of all our bulky items, which will boost our productivity by over 30%. It will also improve the visibility and tracking of parcels, which is an obvious benefit for our clients.”
– Chris Barrett, Head of engineering, facilities and estates, Hermes