Popken Fashion Group relies on shipment document handling and shipping label printing system from AKL-tec

The Popken Fashion Group is a family-run fashion group and unites the brands Ulla Popken, GINA LAURA, Studio Untold and JP1880 under its umbrella. The multi-channel company specializes in plus-size fashion and sells its fashion worldwide in over 30 countries and more than 600 stores. Mail order and internet retail as well as selected B2B partners are also increasingly used as distribution channels. In total, more than 4,000 employees ensure a satisfied clientele. The Group’s headquarters are located in Rastede, where the focus is on the development and distribution of the Ulla Popken, GINA LAURA, Studio Untold and JP1880 labels. This is precisely where a new hall with around 15,000 square meters of floor space is currently being built. After its completion, the company will rely on redtagger document insertion systems from AKL-tec GmbH for shipment document handling and shipping label printing.

Meeting the high order volume

“Orders via our catalogs and the Internet are increasing more and more. For this reason, we were looking for a system for the new building that would make order picking more efficient and economical,” explains Frank Blecker, project manager at PFG Logistics GmbH, another Popken Fashion Group company. Since the requirements for the new systems were high, he and his colleague Thomas Wetter visited various logistics centers and looked at various systems. However, they did not meet the fashion group’s requirements in terms of plant technology and price-performance ratio. They demanded a system that would automatically insert the correct documents per hour and per lane into 1750 boxes filled with the ordered goods. International orders in particular pose a challenge: Here, the appropriate remittance slip matching the destination country must be selected automatically and placed in the corresponding box. In addition, the available space must be taken into account and the systems must be designed for multi-shift operation. In order to find a solution that meets the requirements, the in-house IT department conducted an Internet search and became aware of AKL-tec’s products. “Already during the first conversation, the high expertise, competence and flexibility regarding the topic of shipment document handling crystallized, so that we decided in favor of four redtagger document insertion systems. For reasons of redundancy, we will have two lanes equipped with two redtaggers each,” explains Thomas Wetter, Operation Manager at PFG Logistics.

Automated document insertion process

Frank Blecker describes the future picking process as follows: “As soon as we receive the order, the goods are picked manually in a first stage and automatically sorted into the order totes via a crossbelt sorter in a second stage. To do this, the ordered goods are placed in a plastic box and transported via a conveyor belt toward the packing station. On the way there, the respective language or country is transmitted to the automatic document insertion system redtagger T-300, so that the appropriate documents are selected. The corresponding remittance slip as well as the invoice and return slip are inserted into the box by a specially designed applicator.” The required system is one of the largest possible expansion stages of the T-300 product line. In the further course of the line, a redtagger T-200 is also used per web, which shoots the corresponding shipping label with carrier tape in the 100×180 mm format into the box in a continuous process. Arriving at the packing station, the complete shipment is then prepared for shipping in cartons or polybags. The use of redtagger enables a flexible flow of goods and, thanks to automation, an increase in productivity. In addition, higher throughput is achieved through automated order processing and increased profitability due to just-in-time print data processing. “Our as well as AKL-tec’s IT department work very closely together so that the overall process can run reliably. The cooperation with AKL-tec is very constructive and we look forward to being able to put the systems into operation soon,” conclude those responsible.