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Modular WITRON-DPS delivers a significant increase in logistics capacity

Witron helps Kruidvat to make intra logistics fit for future

The leading Dutch Health- and Beauty chain Kruidvat, part of the global AS Watson group has decided to further expand the capacity of the existing central distribution center in Heteren (NL). The order for the overall design and implementation of the logistics solution was received by Witron. The Witron system concept DPS (Dynamic Picking System) builds the heart of the total future operation.

This project covers the building of a new DPS system that will be fully integrated into the existing DPS built by Witron. The existing installation will be extended by additional picking workstations and with stacker cranes.  The new design consists of an AS/RS with tote storage locations, ergonomic picking and repack workstations. A pallet warehouse for automated pallet storage and retrieval will complete the total solution. The modularity of the Witron system makes it possible that the extension will be carried out during ongoing operation.

DPS operates on both principles of goods-to-man and man-to-goods. Depending on the order structure, articles will be allocated in the pickfront, permanently or just as needed to fulfill the customer order. The classification static or dynamic product positioning is continually reviewed and adjusted. Through the static and dynamic delivery of stock items in the pick front, the walking distances of employees are shortened up to 75 percent, resulting in high pick performances. The replenishment and re-profiling of the pickfront is automatically handled by AS/RS cranes. Picking is supported by a pick-by-light system. Because of these measures and principles the DPS-concept has proven to be a very cost efficient solution.

The productive use of the plant to supply more than 1000 Kruidvat and Trekpleister stores is scheduled for the end of 2012. On a peak day over half a million items will be picked in the new system in Heteren. This represents over 30,000 totes on a daily basis, store-friendly grouped and stacked in a fully automated way.

With the expansion of the logistics capacity, the Dutch Health- and Beauty chain is well prepared for future market requirements. The current range of articles is very wide and covers different food and non-food, pharmaceutical, health and beauty products. The resulting, significant logistical complexity and volume increase is covered very well by the use of DPS. The mature DPS technology guarantees to provide high customer service levels through product availability on the store shelves. This is achieved by a high picking accuracy and by taking individual store and customer requirements into consideration.

If you have any editorial questions, please contact:    
Jack Kuypers, branchmanager Northwest Europe, tel. +31-478 55 18 55, E-mail:
WITRON Engineering BV, Keizersveld 47c, 5803 AM Venray