50pc capacity boost for retailer’s DC

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European own brand retailer HEMA supplies some 600 stores from its distribution centre in Utrecht. With its network growing at a rate of 50 stores per year, it decided it needed to expand the capacity of its Utrecht facility, and enlisted Witron, which originally designed and installed the DC in 2003.

The facility is an automated distribution centre with more than 210,000 tote locations and 26,000 pallet locations. Approximately 250 million articles are processed annually.

There are nearly 30,000 lines from fashion and hardware to food, stored on Witron’s “Dynamic Picking System”.

The DPS is modular, and so allowed an extension by 12 ergonomic picking workstations, 16 ergonomic repacking stations, and 7,500 tote locations.

Additional software updates will be made to expand functionalities and improve material flows as required for future demand. Pallet capacity is also being re-examined.

The expanded system will enable a performance increase of nearly 50 per cent, bringing the daily capacity from 470,000 picks to more than 700,000 picks.

HEMA’s stores are spread across the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, and France. It expects that its increased capacity will support its expansion plans, as well as improving service levels and stock availability at its current stores.


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