"A.S. Watson's subsidiary Kruidvat opts for Witron DPS

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

Netherlands leading health and beauty retail company, Kruidvat, a subsidiary of the worldwide operating A.S. Watson group of companies, is planning to build a new automated warehouse and picking system for retail distribution in Heteren (NL).

The technological solution that has been selected is the "Dynamic Picking System" (DPS) of Witron Integrated Logistics Corp., which belongs to the German Witron group of companies. Kruidvat enjoys strong brand awareness throughout The Netherlands and Belgium where they operate roughly 900 stores. With the DPS system solution, 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 solution for fast and efficient picking of small-sized and tote compatible articles, as general contractor, the German logistics experts will fully integrate the DPS until a project handover to Kruidvat in February 2008.

The distinctive elements of Kruidvat's DPS are the largely dynamic provision of storage totes into the picking channels and the spacious combination of the warehouse with the picking zone.  The 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 determines 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. This warehouse offers enough space to store up to 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 up to 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 Q4 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.


Witron Logistik + Informatik GmbH

Witron Logistik + Informatik GmbH was founded in 1971 with its headquarters in Parkstein (Eastern Bavaria/Germany) and today ranks among the leading design and realization companies of automated logistics system solutions. Numerous national and international market leaders of industry and trade rely on the multidisciplinary and intersectoral competence Witron has gathered during 35 years of implementing more than 2,000 specific logistics projects in a wide variety of industries. As general contractor, Witron takes responsibility for budgets, deadlines and functionality during all project phases, starting with concept and design, all the way through installation, the complete realization phase of logistics installation and the system ramp-up phase. By means of a Customer Support Partnership, users can benefit from Witron's know-how even after project completion for their systems' complete life cycle.

At the end of the 2005 financial year, the Witron group of companies employed 720 people worldwide, about 590 of them in Germany. The annual turnover in 2004 came to 200 million Euros. Further subsidiaries for business development and customer support are located in Arlington Heights, Illinois (USA), Buckinghamshire (UK) and Venray (Netherlands) as well as in Madrid (Spain)."

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

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