Big changes are happening at the West Henrietta distribution facility, many of which fall under the scope of Project Mercury. Started in late 2015, Project Mercury is a set of projects focused on advancing the warehouse, packaging and distribution technologies to become more efficient, flexible and streamlined. The facility is starting to see vast changes as several of the projects are progressing well into the implementation phase, with equipment build and installation. One such project is the installation of the Automatic Storage and Retrieval System (ASRS), a state-of-the-art material handling system that was previously mentioned in the Q2 2018 edition of CooperConnect. Phase one of this system will house silverstock, and future phases include finished goods, to more efficiently utilize precious real estate in the warehouse, while improving the pick and put away rates, inventory accuracy, replenishments and expiry of product. Robots will facilitate a goods-to-person interaction, in comparison to the current process where employees have to go to various product locations and manually pick the needed product.
Prior to installing this new technological system, 16,000 square feet of floor space needed to be freed up to provide the canvas for the new system.
Contractors were brought onsite, and over the course of several weeks, 10 racks/aisles, housing over 100 million lenses, which stretched 200 feet in length and 30 feet high, were physically moved and removed. After the floor space was cleared, there was one more major hurdle that needed to be scaled prior to the commencement of construction. The ASRS required a specific grade of ground levelness, so new concrete was poured, smoothed and leveled to achieve the specification. The facility was now ready for the build and installation stage to commence.
The ASRS vendor sent its installation team to New York and began building the framework for the ASRS. The team has worked tirelessly to construct the tunnel, framework and paneling of the grid, and most recently, commenced installation of the electrical wiring, which will power this impressive piece of technology. The build is progressing to the projected timeline. Installation of the system is expected to be completed in May 2018 with go-live in November 2018 and full operation in February 2019.