Manage Online Business More Flexibly

Arvato Supply Chain Solutions has implemented an automated packaging solution. Among other things, the aim is to be able to manage the online business of internationally successful shoe brands even more efficiently and flexibly. The concept is now to be expanded.

Arvato Supply Chain Solutions is pushing ahead with the automation of its locations and processes: the supply chain management and e-commerce service provider has put a new packaging machine into operation at the Dorsten / Marl industrial park. With its help, the online business of internationally successful shoe brands should be managed even more efficiently and flexibly. The automated packaging solution is scalable and will also be used for other locations and e-commerce customers in the future, as the company emphasizes.

“With the new packaging machine, we can increase the throughput of boxes per hour and have more flexibility when increasing capacities for our customers‘ coming summer season,” explains Christoph Brings, site manager of the e-commerce distribution center in Dorsten / Marl. “We are also continuously improving the deployment planning of employees and can process customer orders more continuously and more stably, even in peak times.”

CartonWrap from CMC in Italy

A fully automatic CartonWrap packaging system by the Italian manufacturer CMC was installed. In the packaging process, which varies slightly for orders with one or more articles, the articles to be packed are first scanned. The goods are then placed on a conveyor belt and fed to the packaging system. All other processes are then fully automated. The machine asks the IT system for a suitable open customer order for the respective article and starts the packing process after confirmation. For the products, measured by a 3-D scanner, the packaging system automatically produces precisely tailored shipping boxes and prints the shipping documents at the same time.

Articles, boxes and documents are then brought together in the heart of the machine and the box is folded around the product and automatically sealed. If desired, customer-specific branding can be applied by inkjet printing using integrated print-on-demand. The shipping label is then automatically applied to the box and the package is handed over to the outgoing goods department. “With the packaging machine, we increase our productivity tenfold for orders with one item position compared to the purely manual process,” emphasizes Brings. “This increases the productivity of our employees significantly.” This was the decisive reason for the decision in favour of the packaging machine because the pure throughput times are not significantly reduced compared to the previous manual process.

Driving process automation

The new packaging solution is a component in Arvato Supply Chain Solutions‘ digitalization strategy, which provides for the automation of processes and locations through the increased use of corresponding technologies and systems. “The concept of the packaging machine was set up from the start with a view to using it at other locations. Another unit, for example, will go live at our Pleasant Prairie site in the USA at the end of the month,” says Brings.

The scalable and fully automatic packaging solution relies on corrugated cardboard boxes made completely from recycled material. The precise cutting of the cardboard packaging to the size of the article also saves resources. It is expected that the new system will reduce the size of the shipping boxes by an average of around 20 percent.

Arvato Supply Chain Solutions is a leading international service provider in the field of supply chain management and e-commerce. In the areas of telecommunication, tech, corporate information management, healthcare, consumer products and publishers, around 15,000 employees worldwide provide services and practice-oriented solutions.