Dutch Retailer Installs Witron ASRS

Health and beauty retailer, Kruidvat (Netherlands), is planning to build a new automated warehouse and picking system for retail distribution in Heteren (NL). The company will install Witron Integrated Logistics Corp.’s dynamic picking system (DPS).

Kruidvat enjoys strong brand awareness throughout The Netherlands and Belgium where it operates roughly 900 stores. With the DPS system, the Dutch health and beauty retailer will possess sufficient logistics capacities to further promote the growth of its branch network. Additionally, DPS will enable Kruidvat to significantly reduce the costs per item picked. Because DPS is a Witron-developed turnkey system for picking small-sized and tote compatible articles, as general contractor, Witron’s (Germany) logistics experts will fully integrate the DPS until a project handover to Kruidvat in February 2008.

In its new distribution center, picking workstations are equipped with data terminals and will be located in aisles on two levels directly within the automated small parts warehouse. A total of 18 picking workstations will enable access to 3,150 picking channels, all equipped with pick-by-light displays. In accordance with the incoming orders, four automated cranes (AS/RS) will replenish the picking channels with storage totes. Continuously, Witron's Warehouse Management System will determine the allocation of the picking channels. Thus only those storage totes that are needed for current orders will be placed in the pickfront. Totes with products that will not be picked within a foreseeable period of time will be returned to the automated small parts warehouse by the cranes. The warehouse offers enough space to store 45,900 standard-sized storage totes. The dynamic allocation of the picking channels is managed against

multifaceted parameters--such as order volume, product classification, or order history. For the consolidation of the orders, the general contractor will add an "Order Consolidation Buffer" (OCB) with room for nearly 3,000 totes. Three compact AS/RS cranes make sure that 1,200 totes are consolidated to orders per hour. The order totes are automatically fitted with lids, stacked and finally palletized.

By the beginning of the fourth quarter 2007 the new warehouse and picking solution is expected to handle around 3,000 articles out of the Kruidvat assortment for a performance of approximately 130,000 pick units at peak days.

Source: Witron Logistik + Informatik GmbH

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