The highly successful off-price retailer, TK Maxx, has hundreds of stores in the UK, Germany and Poland. It sells merchandise from thousands of vendors around the world and each store can have as much as 10,000 new products delivered each week, from clothing to luggage and toys. The logistics of managing such an operation is no easy task.
The challenge TK Maxx set Sovex was to install two vehicle unloaders into their distribution centres, TJX Europe, in Stoke and Walsall. The vehicle unloaders needed to unload totes which were stacked 2.4m high in a trailer. The loading bay also needed to be used to unload pallets using pallet trucks from various sized trailers.
TJX Europe also wanted Sovex to service and maintain the new vehicle unloader and their existing vehicle loader.
The Sovex Solution
The Sovex project team proposed a combination of a telescopic boom with a man-rider system, mounted on a moving chassis. It was vital that the boom could slew out of position to also allow pallet truck operators access to the trailers. The slewing system enabled the vehicle unloader to pivot to the side.
The vehicle unloader was fitted with a man-rider cradle and hydraulic lift as the totes were stacked higher than a person can reach. The man-rider cradle can enter the trailer at various heights to unload stacks of totes with ease.
When implementing the new material handling equipment, Sovex engineers had to remove the existing boom and ensure that the new conveyor system integrated seamlessly with existing machinery. All this was achieved without disrupting day-to-day operations.
TJX Europe has been so pleased with the results that the new vehicle unloader has now been installed at four of their processing centres in Europe.
Sovex proposed their service and maintenance package, Sovex Service Connect. TJX Europe’s Engineering and Facilities Managers use Sovex to service and maintain their material handling equipment. The Sovex web based management system means they can now see which machine has broken down, when the call was reported and most importantly the ETA of the Sovex Engineer.
“Sovex’s equipment meant we could use the same loading bay to unload totes and pallets. The operators were also at a safe working height inside the trailer to unload totes stacked 2.4m high.”
David Roberts, Facilities and Engineering Manager, TJX Europe