Berner invests in logistics extension

INFORMATION: Free information is available from WITRON on the subject in this story. Click here to request a copy

The Combined Berner Group located in Kuenzelsau, Germany, Europe-wide one of the leading direct sales organizations of consumables and tools to the professional user in trade and industry, is extending its logistics system.

The company is expanding the warehouse and picking capacities within the central warehouse of the German Distribution Company. Berner opted for the Dynamic Picking System (DPS) developed by Witron headquartered in Parkstein, Germany. DPS combines all warehouse and picking functionalities in one scalable systems solution. Through this 11 million Euros investment, Berner will be able to reduce the logistics costs substantially and increase the throughput and productivity within the total system. The new logistics technology designed by Witron is within the 85 meters long new warehouse and will cover 2.500 square meters of surface currently realized. The operation is expected to be productive mid 2007.

Up until now, the picking operation in the existing semi-automatic warehouse has been done on a two-tier-basis. As of now, Berner has decided to go for a pick & pack solution from Witron. The DPS system monitors the changing movement rates of the articles while supplying them into static or dynamic tote channels. There are 2,200 tote channels in total. Picking takes place on two linked picking levels with a total of twenty picking stations that are provided with storage goods by six stacker cranes. Each aisle in the DPS tote warehouse will be equipped with two stacker cranes, which not only cover inbound and outbound storage functions, but also ensure the continuous replenishment of totes into the picking channels of the DPS. Storage capacity will also be extended: Before the expansion, the warehouse offered 21.500 pallet and 57.000 tote storage locations. Henceforth Berner will be able to utilize an additional 2.300 pallet storage locations. Furthermore the capacity of the tote warehouse will be almost double with an additional 55.000 storage locations. By using DPS, the pick performance can be augmented to 35.000 order lines per day. This is close to double the dispatch rate and thus halves the order throughput time. As a result, the latest order time can be extended from the present 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm, something that Berners more than 100.000 satisfied customers and this is only counting Germany will benefit from.

Furthermore, the project scope of Witron provides the integration of a manual pallet warehouse into the DPS picking process. This will allow the employees to pick from pallet locations into cartons at the DPS picking stations as well. Because of this, Berner assures itself the necessary flexibility to benefit from the advantages of the DPS system in case of great changes within the delivery program that currently lists 25.000 articles.

INFORMATION: Free information is available from WITRON on the subject in this story. Click here to request a copy

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