Witron builds a new distribution center for Febi Bilstein

The Ferdinand Bilstein GmbH + Co. KG (Febi Bilstein) with its headquarters in Ennepetal, is planning to invest 32 million Euros for the expansion of its logistical infrastructure in the coming years. The most important part of the extensive investment package is the erection of an automated distribution center, which is currently being realized on a surface of 30,000 sqm in Ennepetal. The warehouse and picking system was planned by Witron who takes up responsibility as general contractor also for the realization of the entire logistics system, ramp-up and the on site service. The new distribution center with a size of 22,000 sqm will start its productive use in January 2009.

On the open automotive spare parts market, Febi Bilstein belongs among the market leaders on the international level.  Febi offers to the after sales market an extensive spare parts program with more than 20,000 automobile and utility vehicle parts in OEM quality at an attractive cost-to-performance ratio. The years from 2001 to 2006 implicated a tremendous increase in demands, explains Frank Boecker, Logistics Head of Febi Bilstein. Since our existing logistics footprint could not be expanded due to location reasons, we developed a greenfield concept together with Witron for building a new distribution center, says Boecker. Ulrich Schlosser, Witron Authorized Signatory comments, The warehouse and picking system used in the new Febi distribution center is based on our sophisticated system modules OPS, Order Picking System, and MPS, Module Picking System. In combination, both systems cover the huge range of the spare parts program of Febi within the automotive and commercial vehicle area without any problems also taking into account the future forecasted article growth.

Both systems are linked up by the Parkstein system provider on the basis of information and process technology so that Febi Bilstein benefits from an integrated transparency of all material flows. As part of the OPS, Witron is going to integrate an automated small parts warehouse comprising of 10 aisles and 100,000 double-deep tote locations. A loop manages the supply of the ten pick stations with storage totes. According to the Pick & Pack principle, goods are directly picked into customer cartons and provided for dispatch. This is done according to a server-generated volume calculation. Sequence buffers separate all automated warehouse processes from picking and ensure high performance, comments Schlosser. 

The MPS area will be extended by an additional twelve workstations that cover the parallel loading of several order pallets. These workstations are also supplied and cleared fully-automated, adds Schlosser. The pallet replenishment for the MPS module comes from a seven-aisle high bay warehouse with 40,000 locations also double-deep. Both systems make it possible for us to integrate additional articles and product lines into the program and to satisfy the increasing request for Febi articles, says Boecker. With the new warehouse logistics system opening in 2009, Febi Bilstein will be able to store more than 20,000 different articles, process some 30,000 daily orderlines, and offer its customers higher product availability with shorter delivery times.

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