Liberty Hardware offers decorative and functional hardware products.
Founded in 1942, Liberty Hardware, a division of Masco Corporation, offers decorative and functional hardware products including bathroom fixtures, drawer slides, knobs, hooks, wall plates, and more. Liberty Hardware strives to enhance the way people experience and enjoy their living spaces. They leverage consumer insights, award-winning design expertise, practical innovations and outstanding service to create inspiration throughout your home.
To improve operational efficiency and security of specialty items. The new system needed to be scalable to meet current and future growth expectations.
Daifuku conducted a study of the existing manual operations and determined that a single aisle miniload Automated Storage & Retrieval System (AS/RS) would be sufficient to meet their current and future growth operation. The AS/RS technology requires fewer personnel to pick orders than Liberty Hardware’s previous manual operation, which consisted of multiple people manually picking from many aisles of conventional flow rack. An additional benefit to the new system is the security the AS/RS provides for expensive inventory. Totes can only be accessed through the warehouse control system (WCS) and only employees with authorized access know the location of a particular product within the system.
At 32 feet tall the miniload maximizes the amount of storage within the vertical space. The footprint is only 1,900 square feet yet it still provides 3,520 storage locations. At the end of the aisle, a u-shaped conveyor interfaces with manual flow rack. The system outputs to 10 consolidation lanes that can each handle up to 10 orders in progress and one additional lane for single item orders.
The system operation is controlled by Daifuku’s WarehouseRx warehouse control system (WCS). Not only does it control the operation of the crane, but it is the intelligent “brain” that directs picking efficiency. For example, the WCS retrieves SKUs that are part of single item orders before retrieving SKUs for multi item orders to ensure high throughput. The WCS interfaces with Liberty’s own warehouse management system (WMS).
The AS/RS is situated in an area of the warehouse that allows for a second aisle of expansion, to accommodate the company’s increased capacity in the future.
The automated AS/RS system at Liberty Hardware improved pick accuracy while reducing the total number of man hours required to pick orders compared to previous manual operation. The miniload system also provided them with needed security for expensive inventory items.