Case Study: On the pull

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Denmark’s largest retail group Dansk Supermarked Gruppen has placed an order with Dematic to implement its Order Assembly system to consolidate the operations of its expanding general merchandise brands and reduce logistics costs.

The company owns hypermarkets Bilka and A-Z, føtex supermarkets, the Tøj & Sko clothing and shoe stores, and grocery chain Netto, and handles more than 17,000 product types. DSG has to build store-friendly pallets for a diverse range of order profiles, from multiple pallet orders for the hypermarkets to half pallets for smaller stores, including a combination of both small and large items.

Dematic’s Order Assembly system will give DSG a throughput of 5,500 cases per hour, building 250 pallets using just 28 operators. The justification for the project was based on reduced cost per case as fewer people are needed to deliver the required throughput.

The solution comprises 16 ErgoPall high rate palletising stations, which are fed on-demand from a Multishuffle buffer holding 180 shuttles. The buffer delivers cartons to the ErgoPall stations in the exact sequence required, enabling store-friendly pallets to be built. High productivity levels are maintained at the palletising stations as products are pulled from the buffer rather than trickling down through the system.

Real-time management of the system will be provided by Dematic’s DC Director warehouse management and control system and a team of engineers will supply an all-inclusive on-site service, which includes a comprehensive maintenance programme.

The system is planned to go live in the first half of 2010 and has also been designed to allow for expansion in line with any future growth of throughput. Dave Bull, business development manager at Dematic, says: “This will significantly reduce the complexity of DSG’s distribution network, reduce logistics costs, and open up new strategic opportunities for DSG.”

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