QVC to Automate Lancaster Distribution Center

Dec. 17, 2003
(Marietta, GA: December 11, 2003) FKI Logistex LSE:FKI.L) Cleco Systems ( announces that it has landed an $11.5 million contract with

(Marietta, GA: December 11, 2003) FKI Logistex® LSE:FKI.L) Cleco Systems ( announces that it has landed an $11.5 million contract with television shopping channel and retailer, QVC ( ), to outfit the expansion of its distribution center in Lancaster, PA. QVC, one of the world's leading electronic retailers, with 2002 sales of $4.4 billion, has eight distribution centers worldwide covering over 3.8 million square feet, or approximately 80 football fields.

The new contract follows a successful Cleco Systems installation of an 85,000 pallet-position, 11-crane, automated storage and retrieval solution (AS/RS) in QVC's distribution center in Rocky Mount, NC. The Lancaster, PA, project will be the first Cleco Systems mini-load carton AS/RS in North America and will hold more than 600,000 boxes in the new 650-foot by 250-foot by 75-foot building.

Equipment in the new deal includes 12 Cleco fully-automated mini-load cranes, FKI Logistex two-level conveyors with pickup and deposit stations, special inducts, and shipping sort lanes. The system controls will be run by FKI Logistex IoSystems Warehouse Optimizer? warehouse control software, which interfaces to QVC's material handling management system. Cleco Systems will also provide systems integration and project management. Included in the sale is $4.5 million of racking provided by Netherlands-based Nedcon.

"We are very excited by this opportunity to provide QVC with this mini-load system," said Cleco Systems president, Ken Matson. "The Cleco and IoSystems teams have been working closely with companies like QVC to provide the latest in material handling technology."

The 12 Cleco mini-load cranes will make the QVC distribution center one of the largest mini-load installations in the world. Each crane features two special load handlers that can carry two cartons each, enabling a put or pick of four boxes at once. Designed to handle various box sizes or shapes, the Cleco mini-load cranes, combined with the FKI Logistex infeed and outfeed conveyors and sorters, create a system in the QVC distribution center where box handling is completely automated from the time boxes are put on the infeeds to the time they are delivered to the outfeed shipping lanes.

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