Witron wins contract with leading Netherlands department store chain

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A leading Netherlands department store chain HEMA B.V., part of the Maxeda holding group, is building an automated logistics centre with an integrated picking solution in Utrecht (NL).

The order to provide comprehensive logistics technology was won by Witron Engi-neering B.V., subsidiary of the German based Witron Logistik + Informatik GmbH. Since more than three and a half years, HEMA has run the Witron "DPS" (Dynamic Picking System") system solution to pick regular merchandise goods ("pull" range). Now the company will use the same logistical infrastructure for promotional, seasonal and specially offered goods ("push" range). In contrast to the "pull" range to be ordered on demand by the nearby 340 HEMA stores in the Low Countries and Germany, promotional and seasonal products are to be supplied to the stores independently from orders.

Tony DeNunzio, CEO of Maxeda, is enthusiastic about the new expansion and says: "HEMA is a very successful retail format and we are dedicated to building on that success. We want to own the most efficient and modern supply chain in the business. This is the moment to invest in the newest infrastructure for push goods." Ronald van Zetten, Chairman of the Board of HEMA BV, adds: "After completion we will be way ahead of the competition when it comes to manag-ing the distribution chain." HEMA invests some 16 million Euros in the new logistics technology. As a result external warehouses can be closed and the radio-controlled picking of the "push" range is to be assimilated into the economic "DPS" technology of the "pull" range. With a fully integrated "DPS" system platform, HEMA will achieve a high picking quality independently from the ranges, which will allow them to continue its ambitious expansion path.

The project scope includes a three aisle automatic small parts warehouse with approximately 90,000 tote storage positions and four miniload cranes. Additionally an automated pallet high bay warehouse with five cranes and enough space for roughly 26,000 pallets will be built. In future, picked orders are to be consolidated by a new order consolidation buffer with 7,700 tote storage locations and eight "picking mini loads" - highly dynamic miniload cranes. Roughly 750 tote channels, 150 pallet picking locations and 44 picking workstations are to be installed within the two leveled "DPS" site. Witron will also extend the existing and operating re-pack zone by eight double workstations and cross-link the "pull" and "push" system areas using network linked conveyor systems. The entire internal material flow will thus be tightened up and opti-mized. The "DPS" "push" system solution is designed for a picking performance of 113,000 units per day, representing around 16,700 order totes. Some 300 million parts will find a place in the 112 meter long, 51 meter wide and 33 meter high new distribution center, which will be made productive in spring 2008.

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