Lakeland UK boosts efficiency with CMC CartonWrap 1000 investment

Richard Stuart-Turner
Monday, December 14, 2015

Kitchenware and homeware retailer Lakeland UK has bought a CMC CartonWrap 1000 box-on-demand system to automate its packaging of home shopping products.

The business has installed the device at its 26,000sqm Kendal, Cumbria-based facility, which houses its retail and franchise warehousing and home shopping operation, over the course of the past few weeks.

The firm had already automated the packing of 70% of its outbound home shopping parcels using a B+ packaging device, which was installed in 2012, and the CartonWrap 1000 will assist with the remaining 30%.

This predominantly includes smaller orders for which Lakeland had been looking for an automated packing device for a number of years to improve both its packing efficiency and the quality of outbound parcels.

The device, which Lakeland director of operations Gary Marshall said “cost hundreds of thousands of pounds”, can produce variable sized cartons dynamically from a flat corrugated supply at the rate of 1,000 cartons per hour.

The business will aim to put approximately 400,000 parcels through the machine in 2016.

“Increasingly in e-commerce smaller orders are growing, particularly in marketplaces that we participate in, and we needed a solution to pack these things very quickly. We’ve been looking for a long time for the appropriate machine to do this sort of work,” said Marshall.

The device is designed to wrap orders of single and multiple products using corrugated card fed from a fanfold stack.

Orders are scanned by an operator and placed on the inlet conveyor where a scanner detects the product’s three dimensions and triggers the feeding of corrugated card to create the exact dimension box required. This reduces or eliminates the void in the carton and the need to add additional filler materials.

The order is then automatically placed in the carton, the carton is sealed and the shipping label is automatically printed and applied to the parcel.  The machine’s PC ADD Control System was adapted to Lakeland’s existing IT infrastructure to track the data/product according to the database to guarantee 100% integrity of the entire process.

The CartonWrap 1000 can print an invoice or packing slip of up to three sheets and insert additional media materials automatically with the order prior to closing the carton.

Lakeland's print work, including its catalogues, is outsourced to mail houses but the firm completes all packing work in-house. Marshall said the CartonWrap 1000 would further enhance the company's service provision to its customers by delivering a more efficient packing operation.

“We’re service orientated and we believe we can provide that service better ourselves through our people, who have a strong service value.”

Lakeland has 69 stores throughout the UK and 16 overseas franchise stores while its home shopping business dispatches more than 6,000 parcels every day.

The company employs around 2,000 staff, of which up to 380 work at the Kendal facility, depending on the time of year.


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