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Hermes invests £1 million in automation for 30% productivity boost at midlands hub


B2C delivery company Hermes has added a semi-automated carousel system to one of its biggest distribution hubs, claiming it will increase productivity by 30%.
The new system, which the company says is worth £1 million, is designed to process larger items at the company’s Midlands Super Hub in Rugby.

Replacing a number of manual lines, the system comprises two automatic conveyors for receiving parcels, or infeeds, and two manual ones. The infeeds can handle items of up to 2m in length, 1.2m in width and up to 50kg in weight.

Each infeed features scanning, volumetric and weighing technologies which can automatically identify and profile the packages.

Hermes said the system had added 4000 parcels per hour to the capacity of the hub, which is now in excess of one million parcels per day.

Chris Barrett, head of engineering, facilities and estates, said: “This is one of the first systems in the UK to incorporate an auto-scanning and profiling functionality onto a high-speed carousel system.

“Whether it is a curtain pole, ironing board or a set of golf clubs, the carousel is able to streamline the movement of all our bulky items,” Barrett said.

“It will also improve the visibility and tracking of parcels, which is an obvious benefit for our clients.”

The midlands hub opened in the summer of 2017, boosting the company’s overall capacity by 45%. The company opened a new hub in October 2018 in Hemel Hempstead.

Hermes recently signed a landmark agreement with its workers, offering them the option to opt into full employee rights.

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