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Food retailer to build automated DC

11 October 2017

A dynamic picking system from Witron will be used for the highly dynamic and semi-automatic picking of small parts in the dry goods assortment.

General contractor Witron is automating Omni-Channel logistics processes at Dutch food retailer Hoogvliet.

The state-of-the-art, automated distribution centre in Bleiswijk will supply all distribution channels. The strategic goal of the company is to become the “most attractive Omni-Channel retailer on the market”. The distribution centre will start operation in 2020 and will also host the Hoogvliet service centre.

It has a size of 72,000 square metres and will supply about 100 Hoogvliet stores in the Netherlands with products from its dry goods assortment, with fresh food, fruits & vegetables, meat, and frozen food. The new distribution centre in Bleiswijk will store and pick in different temperature zones. In addition to the returns handling and the cross-docking processes, Hoogvliet also integrated the bakery and butcher shop production areas into the overall material flow. Both are located in the same building.

At his location, Hoogvliet relies on proven Witron systems. The Order Picking Machinery (OPM) with 13 Case Order Machines (COMs) for the fully automated picking of cases onto roll containers will be used in the dry goods and fresh product environment, and the Car Picking System (CPS), a semi-automated picking system will be used for the route-optimised picking of cases. An automated small parts warehouse is located in front of the OPM. So-called “hazardous goods” such as aerosol cans are picked in the CPS within a separate area. The Dynamic Picking System (DPS) is used for the highly dynamic and semi-automatic picking of small parts in the dry goods assortment. The six-aisle high bay warehouse for dry and fresh goods provides locations for the replenishment of the picking areas.

Witron will install manual order picking systems for frozen goods, fruits, and vegetables, as well as meat products. After the picking and consolidation process in the various picking areas, the goods are automatically provided for dispatch by means of transfer cars and gravity conveyors.

The overall system is designed to handle the associated picks on peak days. Modular expansions are provided for future growth.

As a general contractor, Witron is responsible for the entire design and realisation of all IT, control engineering, and mechanical components. In addition, system service and maintenance also belong to the performance scope of the logistics expert from Parkstein, who provides service and technical support by means of an OnSite team. This also includes a temporary support phase for system operation and production management after system ramp-up.