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Witron technology picks Euro-Pool totes store-friendly

With domestic sales of 4.6 billion euro Delhaize Belgium is the leading food retailer in Belgium. One of the reasons for continuous growth is the competitive advantage in fresh logistics. Witron was selected as general contractor to design and implement a "state-of-the-art" logistics center in Asse Zellik. On a daily basis Delhaize supplies efficient more than 800 stores with more than 2,500 different fresh articles. Since autumn 2009 the Witron DPS system output on a peak day is 96.000 totes and shipped to the stores on dollies (DC Project Fresh II).

End of December 2011 Delhaize gave Witron a further order for the automation of the full tote handling (DC Project Fresh III). The new logistics center with an area of 12,000 m2 is directly connected to the DC-Fresh-II Building. The material flows of DC Fresh II and DC Fresh Fresh III are connected with their IT and conveyor systems, in a way that between the two buildings an efficient order consolidation can take place.

As part of the system selection Witron impressed the Belgium food retailer with its patented, fully automated solution ATS (Automated Tote System). A major benefit of ATS lies in the fact that this system is able to store and pick commonly used Euro Pool totes without human intervention.

Increasing throughput figures were also prompted by the Delhaize logisticians. Decided was to already extend the existing Witron DPS system in the logistics center DC Fresh II with a further pick-module consisting of four lanes with 42,000 containers, 8 stacker cranes and 12 workstations.

With ATS the entire material flow is significantly simplified and accelerated. In total there are almost 900 different fresh and ultra-fresh products in the temperature range +2 ° C and +4 degrees Celsius that will be delivered and picked as full totes. In the receiving area the complete shipment is identified with a single barcode scanning. Further processing in the system is ensured by indirect target tracing, making a complicated labeling of individual totes with a barcode or similar unnecessary. Due to the flexibility of the system Delhaize is able to use different tote formats with different base surfaces of 600 x 400 and 400 x 300 with different heights.

The redesign of the entire supply chain for fresh logistics was for Delhaize a huge success. Witron contributed its share through the implementation of the project DC Fresh II. The Belgium food retailer recently was awarded for its "fresh optimization project" by the Belgian Association of Logistics VIB PICS winning the "Supply Chain Award 2011 - SC Project of the Year" award. This future oriented, optimal structured logistics - from the supplier, through the distribution center, transportation even until the shelves at the retailer - allowing very short but highly economical delivery cycles. Therefore Delhaize customers are guaranteed that with every purchase of sensitive goods with short shelf life, always have access to the freshest products. The store itself contains virtually no stock - a significant competitive advantage.

The productive use of DC Fresh III scheduled for the end of 2013. As a general contractor Witron is besides the design of the project also responsible for the supply and ramp-up of all IT, PLC and mechanical components. The complete service & maintenance is performed by a Witron onsite team that keeps the system continuously at greatest ability levels.