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FKI Logistex and Wolseley UK parnership sets new world-class supply chain standards

Acting as total project integrator, FKI Logistex® completes complex and challenging NDC project ahead of schedule

Acting as main contractor and total project integrator for design, construction, installation and commissioning of all handling and storage systems, FKI Logistex® has helped Wolseley UK – the country's leading plumbing and building merchant – set exciting new global standards in logistics operations with its automated, state-of-the-art National Distribution Centre (NDC).

Handed over ahead of schedule, the new NDC is the flagship of an ongoing £100 million investment programme. In addition to providing Wolseley with a significant competitive advantage, the new facility creates additional capacity to meet plans to double the business over five to seven years – while it reduces costs and drives inventory out of the branch network. Based at Royal Leamington Spa, the NDC serves 1,850 UK branches, via five Regional Distribution Centres, with over 100,000 different plumbing and building products.

Nigel Molloy, General Manager, National Distribution Centre, Wolseley UK comments: “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.”

Running a month ahead of the agreed contractual date, 'Building A' was the first unit to be occupied by Wolseley. This 220,000 square foot space is linked to Building B, a 127,000 square foot unit, by a high-level 6,000 square foot bridge, fitted by FKI Logistex with conveyors to transfer totes between each building.

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 GTM (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.

In order to maintain maximum operating efficiencies, FKI Logistex has been awarded a comprehensive ongoing support and service contract, which includes 24/7 on-site engineering personnel.

Jerry Woodhouse, European Managing Director, FKI Logistex, says: “Because of our proven track record in the global supply of automated material handling solutions, we were delighted to be given responsibility for implementing all aspects of the new Wolseley NDC. This complex and challenging role ranged from managing Bowmer and Kirkland Ltd, the company handling
the build and construction of the facility, through to design, installation and commissioning of all our own and third party handling and storage systems.”

Jerry adds: “By focusing on delivering value and excellent investment returns, our integration expertise and materials handling technologies have combined to meet the demanding performance criteria set by Wolseley to maintain its competitive edge.”

Wolseley UK supplies around 400,000 products to the central heating, plumbing, bathroom, shower, drainage, construction, repair and maintenance sectors. The company's 1,850 branches trade under a variety of brand names, including Plumb Center, Drain Center, Build Center, Electric Center, Pipe Center; Climate Center and Parts Center.

Part of FKI plc, FKI Logistex is a leading global provider of automated material handling solutions, supplying customers with an integrated set of leading-edge technologies in high-speed sortation, robotic and conventional conveyor systems, palletizing, paperless pick products, AS/RS, controls, order fulfillment systems, RFID implementation, EDS integration, baggage handling systems, warehouse control systems, and total material handling automation.

The company provides material handling solutions for airports, postal facilities, parcel distribution, manufacturing operations, library automation and for warehouse and distribution facilities. With projects that include many of the world's largest and most advanced material handling operations, FKI Logistex has manufacturing, engineering and support facilities around the world.

For sales or marketing information, contact Jackie Rutter, European Marketing Manager, FKI Logistex, tel: +44 (0) 1536 480611 e-mail: jackie.rutter@eu.fkilogistex.com

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