B&B Tools


B & B Tools central warehouse improves storage, turnover and reliability with 10 Tornados


The leading tools and supplies company B&B Tools have nearly 200 shops in the Nordic region, including two central warehouses in Sweden, offering a selection of 500,000 references, including the best-known Mora knives.

The group made successful corporate acquisitions, which in turn increased its need for more storage space. It decided to seek a more modern alternative to traditional storage methods and turned to Tornado Storage Solutions and its automated storage range for a solution.

“The first time I saw an automated storage system was at a fair in the early 2000s. However, the supplier was a small company and we didn’t dare initiate a large change with them. It was only when Tornado Storage Solutions stepped into the picture that we were convinced by the quality and resources of the supplier”, comments warehouse manager Roger Svensson.

The installation

To optimise storage space and make the most of the 2,000 sqm floor space and 12m high warehouse in Gothenburg, 10 Tornados were installed in a limited space of 175m2. ‘It would take 1,250 square metres of floor space to achieve the same number of shelves with traditional methods,’ adds Svensson.

Increased picking rate

Each tray in the Tornado can handle 300 to 500 kg of stock. Depending on the size of the products, one tray can contain 10 to 250 different items. Applied to their needs, this resulted in storing 70% of their 58,000 items in the Tornados and a whole set of products for two other subsidiaries as well. Even with all these references in the Tornados, the machines were only 60% full.

With the products being despatched to various parts of the world, the warehouse needed to rely on fast picking, excellent stock accuracy, and smooth overall operations, all provided by the Tornados. Including replenishing, there are about 17,000 operations handled every 24 hours. The Tornados were installed to help double this figure, to increase the turnover to over 100 tonnes of deliveries each day.

Delivery reliability – the cornerstone of operations

Delivery reliability is essential and is measured daily at B & B Tools. Their goal of 99.98% accuracy, that is to say a maximum of 20 mistakes for the full 10,000 lines, is achieved thanks to Tornado’s advanced software. The Tornado is also equipped with light position indicators to assist the operator and make sure he picks the right item on the tray.

According to Tobias Sandström – the picker on shift – the best thing about the Tornados is that the products come to the picker and not vice versa. Picking is really easy. “Also, we can now pick the products from an ergonomically correct height”, Sandström says.

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