27 September 2021
In the last year, the logistics and supply chain for e-commerce has been greatly transformed, introducing increased risk and complexity. The process of purchasing from order placement to delivery is much quicker than before, in some cases customers are able to order by a single click for next or same-day delivery.
In this dynamic world, retailers and manufactures have to adapt and innovate to satisfy ever increasing customer demands. The flexibility and capability to design and build customised solutions for complex supply chains is a desirable attribute to remain competitive within the logistic sector.
These market changes have also driven Leonardo to continuously improve its products, to find the most suitable and efficient solution to satisfy customer needs and requirements.
One recent optimisation is the design of destination chutes within the sortation process. Chutes can be the final step of the sortation process and are a critical component to ensure the correct item is sent to the correct shipping destination on-time and undamaged. It is fundamental that every chute therefore, has been designed to allow all items to exit properly and correctly and be transported safely and smoothly. For this reason, Leonardo has focused on improving the spiral chute performance whilst also simplifying the manufacturing process, decreasing installation time and ensuring maintainability.
Through computational design and physical prototyping, the resulting chute was able to ensure both small, large, light and heavy items of different packaging materials follow the optimum trajectory safely and smoothly to the end of the chute and without undesirable tumbling. Furthermore, the chute design allowed for self-starting behaviour of items, so the chute automatically would clear and a compact design allowing a high density of chutes in series to be installed within a small area.
The new spiral chute design was also designed with maintenance in mind. The first innovation is removing the chute inlet support structures to the ground floor, allowing free movement underneath for maintenance. The second allows access for maintenance personnel via anchor points to climb the chute safely.
Another optimisation relates to Leonardo’s maintenance service that is continuing to expand its service solutions portfolio to be able to understand and respond faster to customer needs and expectations. This is being accomplished through employing additional resources and studying new technological innovations to make Leonardo’s machines smarter and equipped with improved diagnostics to be able to provide predictive analysis on the entire plant.
These numerous innovations represent just a small aspect of the attention to detail Leonardo provides.