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Anixter Distribution Center Expansion to Result in Speedier Shipments

With up to 40% more storage capacity and new automation technology, the Alsip, Ill., facility will significantly speed up shipments to customers, Anixter says.

ALSIP, Ill. — Anixter (NYSE: AXE) is considerably expanding the size and technological capabilities of its main North American distribution center, located here.

The addition of a 238,000-sqare-foot facility, equipped with an intelligent conveyor system and voice-picking technology, makes it Anixter’s largest distribution center. With up to 40% more storage capacity and new automation technology, the Alsip site is expected to speed up shipments to customers, according to an announcement.

“The new facility will significantly decrease our processing time,” says Orlando McGee, executive vice president of global operations. “The technology and design of this facility will enable us to move orders into the shipping network faster. Ultimately, that nets out to better service overall to our customers.”

McGee estimates that Anixter will see total productivity savings of 15% to 25%.

The facility is LEED-certified, and the new motion-activated LED lighting system is estimated to be 40% more energy-efficient than a standard lighting system.

Additionally, the 5,500-foot smart conveyor system, which runs only when objects are placed on it, is estimated to be 35% more efficient than a belt-driven system and is designed for worker safety and ease of use.

anixter

Located in Aslip, Ill., the expanded distribution center features a smart conveyor system.

“The conveyor will be positioned at the right height so that product can be pushed directly onto the conveyor without lifting, reducing injuries,” says McGee.

With Bluetooth headsets and Android devices directing them to their next pick, employees will also have their hands and eyes free, and be able to confirm vocally in their preferred language, according to the company. The new voice picking technology is expected to improve efficiency and accuracy as well as worker safety.

Anixter CEO Bob Eck comments the new Alsip facility embodies the smart building approach that Anixter champions in the marketplace.

“We excel at assisting customers in laying the groundwork for smart buildings — from structured cabling to automation and lighting systems — to improve safety, productivity, space utilization and efficiency. We’ve applied our own smart building principles to Alsip, and this new facility demonstrates the quantifiable business value of the smart building approach,” Eck says.

The expanded distribution center is expected to open in mid-April.

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