With its highly efficient pouch sorter system, Ferag AG is helping to automate logistics processes and handle e-commerce orders at shoe manufacturer Crocs in Dayton, Ohio (USA), which also successfully operates on the European market.
The extensive project involves expanding the existing distribution centre by over 70,000 sq m and is taking place under the direction of Bastian Solutions, a Toyota Advanced Logistics company, contracted by the Swiss company for many years. In the first phase, the Skyfall system will be equipped with 33,500 pouches that act as a dynamic, constantly rotating circulating buffer thanks to the new U-turn switch. Commissioning is planned in several stages up to August 2022.
From the point of view of system integrator Bastian Solutions, the Skyfall pouch sorter from Ferag proved the best technology for helping Crocs meet its strategic business and growth plans in the coming years in combination with the upstream AutoStore system. The goal was to find a high-performance, high-precision “order fulfilment machine” that is able to reliably process up to 40,000 units per hour at peak times when complete. Furthermore, the outstanding flexibility of the system from the Swiss experts was also a decisive argument.
The Skyfall system can not only be scaled with minimal effort when required, but can also be used for processing returns, which was planned from the outset in this project. The Ferag system can also be adapted to changing buying habits, new order profiles and seasonal fluctuations without any issues. Even changes within the Crocs product line do not pose any problems. These were the main reasons why the shoe manufacturer – famous worldwide for its plastic clogs – opted for the system from Switzerland’s Zürcher Oberland.
With 18 manual infeed stations and 153 delivery stations, 736 switches and about 8km of conveyors, the latest order from the USA is one of the largest Skyfall pouch sorter projects that Ferag has implemented to date. In addition to supplying its particularly robust and fail-safe technology, the family-owned company also provided Crocs with a convincing, sophisticated concept for handling the special Jibbitz shoe charms that Crocs wearers use to personalise their shoes according to their own individual taste.
Crocs was founded in 2002. Since then, the shoe manufacturer has seen constant growth, with its bright plastic clogs in colours such as light green, turquoise or yellow quickly gaining cult status. The company now employs over 4,000 staff, with numbers continually increasing.