De Leeuw, a leading food retailer in Belgium, is expanding its automated flow-through fresh food logistics centre in Zellik (Distribution Center B3) together with the general contractor Witron Logistik + Informatik GmbH. Since the end of 2013, the facility has been supplying more than 800 stores with a range of 900+ different fresh and ultra-fresh products at +2 degrees Celsius temperature zones. Once the expansion is ready for operation, scheduled for mid-2022, output on peak days will increase by more than 40%. The additionally awarded expansion shows that Delhaize is convinced of the cost-efficiency, flexibility, ergonomics, and availability of the solution.
The current expansion was part of the original logistics concept. Three additional modules will be implemented into the existing Witron ATS solution (Automated Tote System) during ongoing operation. These include 100,000 additional tote locations (in total 271,000), 12 stacker cranes (in total 32), 24 tote stackers / destackers (in total 71), as well as 12 sequence buffers, 8 vertical lifting devices, 4 transfer cars, 2 dolly loading stations, and stretch-wrapping and labelling machines.
The full tote handling in the entire material flow has been significantly simplified and accelerated with the ATS system. A major benefit of the technology lies in the fact that the EPS-totes of different sizes commonly used in the fresh area can be stored and picked fully automatically, in a store-friendly manner, and stacked onto dispatch dollies with a limited need for personnel.