Delhaize picks in the fresh area with mechanized Witron system.

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The Belgian food retailer Delhaize Group with head office in Brussels, placed an order in October 2007 at Witron Logistik + Informatik GmbH in Parkstein (Germany) for the building of the new distribution centre for fresh products at the location Asse-Zellik (Belgium).

The system solution is based on the worldwide successfully and already more than 30 times by Witron implemented DPS concept (Dynamic Picking System). With this project DPS will now also, for the first time, be used in the fresh products area (2 4 degrees) for highly dynamic picking of the fresh products like e.g. cheese, meat, poultry, finished meals, fruit, vegetable, salad, etc.

The system consists of a number of equal, self-sufficient modules in a miniload environment with fixed allocated workstations in a pickfront.

At this moment the fresh product articles are allocated in a conventional pickfront on groundlevel and manually picked. For the current handling of the different products in total 13 different tote dimensions and types are used.

With the new DPS-concept, only two tote sizes are required anymore (60 cm x 40 cm with heights 12 cm and 24 cm). The articles are presented to the employees according to the goods-to-man principle and picked from tote to tote. The replenishment of the pick front will be done order related and automated by the system.

Based on a volume calculation in the Witron system it is determined which products should be picked into which tote. In this, criteria such as the so called "family grouping" (classification of articles to productgroups ) as well as the shop layout of the store (planogram) are considered.

After picking, the ready-picked ordertotes are buffered in an orderconsolidation buffer before dispatch. As soon as all totes for an order are picked, they are automatically retreived from the system in the right sequence, stacked on a dolly, strapped and labeled.

The linking of all areas via a sophisticated conveyor network guarantees the necessary short through put times for the fresh food products while at the same time enabling the picking at ergonomic workstations. The walking distances during picking are extremely reduced through the use of DPS.

After being success full ever since 2003 in the dry assortment at Delhaize, it was decided to use the economic and ergonomic advantages of this highly dynamic tote picking system now also in the fresh products area and thus expand the trustful partnership with the Parksteiner logistics experts. The go-life date is planned for September 2009.

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