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E-Commerce and digitalization - the basis for growth

Thirty percent more throughput: Festo expands US logistics center with WITRON

Photo: WITRON

Innovative products, innovative customer service, and an innovative logistics concept: these are the success factors of Festo, one of the global market leaders for automation technology. The fact that these factors are bearing fruits shows itself by the new expansion project of the Regional Service Center (RSC) in Mason, Ohio, awarded in mid-September 2018. 

The RSC in Mason supplies all customers in the U.S.A., Canada, and Mexico rapidly with components from an assortment of more than 20,000 items. All items ordered today have to be received by the customers on the next day. WITRON Logistik + Informatik GmbH who put the US logistics center into operation in 2015, received the order for the realization. The global player Festo, headquartered in Esslingen, Germany, has been implementing joint logistics projects with the general contractor from Parkstein since 1994.

Expansion required earlier than expected

Although, the expansion of the logistics capacities was already considered in the overall concept planned by WITRON, it has to be realized earlier than originally expected due to Festo’s very good business development in the NAFTA zone and its permanently growing online business. 

The expansion of the logistics system will be integrated into the existing building, which will then grow by approx. 11,800 square meters / 127,000 square feet in 2019.  Installation works carried out by WITRON will follow subsequently. The basic module will be the automated OPS (Order Picking System). Once installations are completed, Festo Mason will be able to store 20 percent more items and pick 30 percent more orders than before - a total of 520 packages per hour.  This is made possible by two additional multi-functional picking workstations (in total 10), four additional ergonomic packing stations (in total 18), and additional 15,000 AS/RS storage locations (in total 223,500) distributed over five aisles (in total 15). Operation start is scheduled for the beginning of 2021. 

Two-digit growth in North America

“Our two-digit growth in North America as well as the support of our customers on their way to digitalization has made this further investment necessary”, explains Festo Project Manager, Andreas Wiebe. “Being a full-range provider with a very high service standard worldwide, the simple technical implementation to control complexity is a crucial competitive factor. This has never been achieved by any of our competitors. Developments in an increasingly digital environment, also driven by E-Commerce, require logistics processes and logistics capacities that are geared to future requirements. With WITRON as a development partner, we see ourselves on the right track”.