Builders merchant opens automated warehouse

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Plumbing and builders merchant Wolseley has opened an automated national distribution centre at Leamington Spa.
The NDC, part of a £100m investment by Wolseley, serves 1,850 UK branches, via five regional distribution centres, with more than 100,000 different plumbing and building products.
FKI Logistex was main contractor and project integrator for design, construction, installation and commissioning of all handling and storage systems.
Building A incorporates all receipt and despatch operations together with storage and picking for larger and fast moving items. 4,000 wide aisle storage locations provide large item picking with 18,000 narrow aisle storage locations designed for pallet picking.  Products with low stockholding levels are stored using multi-level long span shelving. An extensive mezzanine floor provides additional areas for various added value processes and tote decanting of small items from receipt.
Designed to handle picking of 30,000 order lines per day involving products spanning a vast range of weights, shapes and sizes, Building B holds tote storage using FKI Logistex mini-load ASR and high-speed machines for goods to man picking, serviced by a combined picking loop on an intermediate mezzanine floor. The mezzanine floor is serviced by an extensive arterial tote conveyor network, also supplied by FKI Logistex, providing integrated picking to tote across a combination of pallet, tote-live and static shelving areas.
Building A was the first unit to be occupied by Wolseley. This 220,000 sq ft space is linked to Building B, a 127,000 sq ft unit, by a high-level 6,000 sq ft bridge, fitted with conveyors to transfer totes between each building.
Nigel Molloy, general manager of the site said: “The NDC forms the core of a new, world-class logistics network being created by Wolseley UK, with FKI Logistex proving to be a first-class partner and project integrator for this vital facility.  Because of the resources, expertise and support provided by the company up to and beyond handover, we’ve moved into our next phase with confidence that Wolseley UK has an NDC second to none in terms of technology and operating efficiencies.”

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