Conveyor Throughput Blockage System for Boots

bts logoIn order to improve conveyor throughout, Boots have installed a PlantRun system to monitor conveyors at an ecommerce distribution centre in Burton, UK.

Maximising throughput capacity is crucial, particularly at peak periods such as Black Friday and Christmas. Due to long lead times for upgrade by conveyor suppliers Boots chose PlantRun as a custom solution within just a few weeks from initial contact.

The system monitors packages passing through conveyors fed either manually or from Neopost automated packaging machines, counting packages and the time conveyors are in blockage, blocked, or backed up.

Beam break sensors installed on the conveyor lines connect back to two communications panels, which in turn connect to an industrial PC server sited adjacent to the conveyors.  Built in shift tracking and Short Interval Control functionality enables calculation of shift and hourly data.  Two 65 inch displays, driven by PlantRun Display Node hardware, mounted above the conveyors show a range of KPI data including number of packages and accumulated blocked time.

In normal running mode the displays show the following data for current hour, last hour, current shift and last shift;

• Throughput
• Availability
• Performance
• Total Time Conveyor Blocked
• Total Time Conveyor OK

When blocked for any significant period the display can switch to highlight the accumulated blocked time.
Built in reports are available generated to pdf output and also as csv files exportable to MS Excel for further analysis.

Boots is the UK’s leading health and beauty retailer and part of Boots Walgreens Alliance the largest retail pharmacy across the U.S. and Europe.

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