Lakeland installs automated packing system

Kitchenwares home shopping company Lakeland has installed a new automated packing system. The warehousing and distribution centre can now automatically pack off of the goods sent to customers around the UK and Germany.

Until recently, Lakeland could only automatically pack 70% of its goods, all of larger sizes, but had to pack the rest of the goods manually. This created waste, and many of the cartons had to have padding to prevent damage in transit.

Lakeland has now installed a CMC Cartonwrap 1000 machine that measures the size of the goods on an inbound conveyor, and then cuts the appropriate amount of cardboard before wrapping the package. It also adds the destination label and any other media as part of the process, as well as weighing it and alerting the delivery company as to how much to charge for the delivery. The system minimises waste and eliminates the need to put in padding into the cartons.

The system is fully integrated into Lakeland’s IT infrastructure so the system as a whole knows the progress of orders and can track them from shopping cart to delivery. The system also prints an invoice or packing slip of up to three sheets and inserts this prior to closing the carton. Speaking of this facet of the new technology, CMC Technical Director Lorenzo Ponti said, “Given our vast experience of mailing solutions, the integration of the CartonWrap machine with catalogue and dispatch note insertion technology presented some challenges, but the overall value to the system was greatly enhanced.”

The move to automation in warehousing and distribution is seen as key to reducing costs in the delivery network. Lakeland is only the latest company to fully automate its packing and dispatch system. Other companies if not following in their wake will be planning to do the same in the near future.