NorgesGruppen, the Norwegian food retailer, has chosen Witron as the general contractor for the design and implementation of a perishable distribution centre for its ASKO wholesale division.
The new 242,000 sq ft logistics centre is located in Vestby, south-east of Oslo. From the beginning of 2017, it will supply more than 2,500 stores and outlets on a daily basis with over 6,000 different meat, sausage, and dairy products.
NorgesGruppen has sales of some €8.2 billion and a market share of over 39 per cent. ASKO project manager Olav Johnsen said: “We require a logistics system that ensures a high level of flexibility, transparency, permanent availability, as well as a gentle product handling throughout the entire material flow.”
“Moreover, it is important for us to offer an attractive work environment to our employees, as they work within a cooled working area every day. This is an extremely important competitive advantage in Norway, a country with very low underemployment and high ergonomic demands”.
On a peak day, Witron’s picking systems OPM (order picking machinery) and DPS (dynamic picking system) will pick more than 400,000 cases onto pallets, roll containers, and into totes in a store-friendly manner.
The order picking machinery consists of 14 Case Order Machines (COM) and a 28-aisle tray warehouse with 165,000 storage locations.
The DPS system contains a four-aisle tote warehouse with 86,200 storage locations, 28 picking, and six repack stations.
The area for articles that cannot be picked fully automated is semi-automatic. Orders that are pre-picked in the OPM or DPS are consolidated and completed with further article groups at ergonomic workstations. An efficient order consolidation, containing DPS as well as OPM articles is therefore ensured.
All customer orders picked in the DPS as well as single-item totes are buffered in a 20-aisle order consolidation buffer (OCB). This buffer ensures a customer- and store-friendly sorting of all order totes as well as their route-optimised delivery on pallets or roll containers. A pallet high bay warehouse with six stacker cranes and 15,800 storage locations serves as replenishment warehouse for all logistics areas.
The dynamic perishable logistics will be located in a new building that is to be connected with an existing logistics facility via a conveyor network.
Witron will integrate a “consolidation system” into the existing building that will be used to consolidate small orders from the new perishable area with pre-picked small orders from other temperature zones (dry, fruits & vegetables, cross-dock).
These orders, which were pre-picked onto pallets or roll containers from different ASKO warehouses, will be consolidated to compact customer orders.
The pallets and roll containers containing dry goods, fresh products, fruits and vegetables, as well as cross-docking items from the central or regional warehouses will first be stored into a three-aisle pallet warehouse containing 630 storage locations before being manually repacked onto trays.
A conveyor network system enables consolidation of the different product groups at six stationary workstations onto one specific load carrier – pallet or roll container.
A stacking algorithm perfectly adapted to the product range allows for store-friendly sorting and high packing density. A light beam shows the picker the right storage position on the load carrier. The high degree of innovation and ergonomics reduces the lifting and carrying of goods to a minimum.
Thanks to “consolidation”, inefficient supplies of only partially filled pallets and roll containers are eliminated. Instead of receiving several load carriers with small orders, the stores will now receive optimally packed and efficiently consolidated pallets and roll containers – which is profitable and ecological.
Operations will be controlled by the Witron warehouse management system. Witron subsidiary FAS will supply 72 stacker cranes and almost 5.6 miles of conveyor systems.