Anixter’s Largest and Most Advanced Distribution Center Demonstrates Smart Building Technology
Anixter International Inc. (NYSE: AXE) is expanding the footprint of its North American flagship distribution Center in Alsip, IL with the addition of a 238,000-sq.-ft. facility, equipped with an intelligent conveyor system and voice picking technology, making it Anixter’s largest—and smartest—distribution center. With 30 to 40 percent more storage capacity and new automation technology, Alsip is expected to speed up shipments significantly to customers.
“The new facility will significantly decrease our processing time,” said Orlando McGee, Executive Vice President of Global Operations. “The technology and design of this facility will enable us to move orders into the shipping network faster. Ultimately, that nets out to better service overall to our customers.” McGee estimates that Anixter will see total productivity savings of 15-25 percent.
The facility is LEED-certified, and the new motion-activated LED lighting system is estimated to be 40 percent more energy-efficient than a standard lighting system. Additionally, the 5,500-ft. smart conveyor system, which runs only when objects are placed on it, is estimated to be 35 percent more efficient than a belt-driven system and is designed for worker safety and ease of use. “The conveyor will be positioned at the right height so that product can be pushed directly onto the conveyor without lifting, reducing injuries,” commented McGee.
With Bluetooth headsets and Android devices directing them to their next pick, employees will also have their hands and eyes free, and be able to confirm vocally in their preferred language. The new voice picking technology is expected to improve efficiency and accuracy as well as worker safety.
According to Anixter CEO, Bob Eck, the new Alsip facility embodies the smart building approach that Anixter champions in the marketplace. “We excel at assisting customers in laying the groundwork for smart buildings—from structured cabling to automation and lighting systems—to improve safety, productivity, space utilization and efficiency. We’ve applied our own smart building principles to Alsip, and this new facility demonstrates the quantifiable business value of the smart building approach.”
Anixter’s expanded distribution center in Alsip, IL is expected to open in mid-April of this year.
Anixter International is a leading global distributor of Network & Security Solutions, Electrical & Electronic Solutions and Utility Power Solutions. We help build, connect, power and protect valuable assets and critical infrastructures. From enterprise networks to industrial MRO supply to video surveillance applications to electric power distribution, we offer full-line solutions, and intelligence, that create reliable, resilient systems that sustain businesses and communities. Through our unmatched global distribution network along with our supply chain and technical expertise, we help lower the cost, risk and complexity of our customers’ supply chains.
Anixter adds value to the distribution process by providing our customers access to 1) innovative supply chain solutions, 2) nearly 600,000 products and over $1.0 billion in inventory, 3) over 300 warehouses/branch locations with approximately 9.0 million square feet of space and 4) locations in over 300 cities in approximately 50 countries. Founded in 1957 and headquartered near Chicago, Anixter trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol AXE. For more information, visit www.anixter.com.
Vice President of Global Communications at Anixter