Witron to Build Automated DC in Germany

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill.—Systems integrator Witron Integrated Logistics announced it will build a 235,000-square-foot distribution center for The Ferdinand Bilstein GmbH + Co. KG (febi bilstein) in Ennepetal, Germany. Febi bilstein is an automotive and commercial-vehicle parts supplier.

Witron will implement an order picking system (OPS) and a module picking system (MPS). As part of the OPS, Witron will build an automated small-parts storage warehouse with 10 aisles and 100,000, double-deep tote locations. A conveyor loop in front of the storage warehouse will manage the supply of totes to 10 pick stations. Goods will be directly picked into customer cartons, packed and sealed for shipping. Carton size and quantity is determined by a system-generated volume calculation.

"Sequence buffers separate all AS/R crane putaway and retrieval processes from picking and ensure high performance and proper sequencing of the articles necessary for each order," says Ulrich Schlosser, Witron authorized signatory.

The MPS area will contain 12 workstations covering the parallel loading of pallets during the picking operation. "These workstations are supplied with and cleared of order pallets, fully automated," adds Schlosser. The pallet supply for the MPS module workstations comes from a seven-aisle, high-bay warehouse with 40,000, double-deep locations.

Febi bilstein says the new DC will allow the company to store more than 20,000 SKUs, process more than 30,000 orders daily and offer customers better product availability and shorter delivery times.

The DC is scheduled to begin operations in January 2009.

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