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FKI Logistex wins major contract for its next generation sortation systems

Joseph Witt GmbH selects new high speed and high accuracy technology for mail order & e-commerce distribution centre

Faced with the need to invest 30 million euro in a new distribution centre in Weiden, Germany to maintain a competitive edge and meet future growth in its mail order and e-commerce fashion sales, Joseph Witt GmbH has awarded FKI Logistex® – the leading global material handling solutions integrator – a major contract to install the next generation sortation systems.

Due to be handed over in October 2008, the new 27,500 square metre facility will incorporate the new groundbreaking, high-speed, high-accuracy systems two LS-4000CB cross-belt sorters and one LS-4000E tilt-tray sorter.

Witt, supported by Otto Group Logistics Systems, chose to be the user of this advanced sortation technology after Witt/Otto Group and FKI Logistex spent time working closely together, determining the systems' performance requirements. By drawing on its unrivalled expertise, FKI Logistex was able to show that, not only could it meet the demanding sortation objectives set by Witt – but was able to exceed these expectations.

“Winning the Joseph Witt contract illustrates FKI Logistex continues to lead the industry in innovative sortation technology,” says Jerry Woodhouse, Managing Director of the company's European Operations. “We are delighted that our next-generation LS-4000 sorters will play a key role in the future success of the new Weiden distribution centre, by helping the company retain its market leading position and grow its pan-European mail order and e-commerce operations.”

In the new Witt distribution centre, picked items will be placed manually out of a tote on the inductions and transferred to the cross-belt systems for automatic sorting, prior to conveying to 134 chutes. Following this stage, the sorted items will be parceled and conveyed to the tilt-tray unit for sorting based on destinations.

Witt chose FKI Logistex as its partner for this major project as, apart from demonstrating the right pedigree and expertise in fashion, retail and e-commerce sortation technology, it provides an unrivalled EU network of back-up facilities. German customers, such as Witt, have the security and convenience of a major local sales and customer support and service centre – FKI Logistex GmbH, Carl-Zeiss Straße 35/3, Rödermark, D-63322 tel: +49 6074 8939 0.

The new sortation models offer a common platform designed to enhance system flexibility and incorporate a new, advanced, energy system, specially developed by FKI Logistex to
significantly reduce operating costs. The units increase handling and distribution efficiencies while decreasing product life cycle ownership costs (PLCC).

The LS-4000E sorts single-tray items up to one metre x one metre and weighing up to 50 kilograms, with functionality to sort larger items if required. The LS-4000CB sorter provides precise positioning and gentle handling, making it ideal for high-friction and fragile items and enabling it to perform exceptionally well in overnight delivery applications.

Incorporating an energy-efficient linear synchronous motor (LSM), the new FKI Logistex sorters reduce the overall PLCC substantially without sacrificing speed, capacity and reliability. The high-speed LSM eliminates contact between moving parts, providing minimal levels of wear and tear plus ultra-low noise levels.

The compact footprint and modular design of the LS-4000E and LS-4000CB, featuring low sorter section height and up to six metres between supports, optimises the integration of the sorters into an existing facility. This space-saving design provides valuable, additional room above and below the sorter.

FKI Logistex uses the same optimised platform to construct both new sorters, which ensures fast, trouble-free installation and commissioning, as well as maximising reliability and
availability. The versatile, modular design is based on standardised units, which integrate mechanical and electrical components – fully tested and certified in-house, prior to installation.

Acknowledged to be the most extensive in the materials handling industry, the international FKI Logistex Customer Service and Support (CSS) team is geared to provide fast, efficient back-up during the lifetime of an installation. Ensuring optimal performance and a system's long-term capabilities, a 24/7 help desk delivers access to on and off-site technical assistance, maintenance and training.

Joseph Witt GmbH was founded in 1907 and was acquired by the worldwide Otto Group in 1987. The company operates in the mail order, e-commerce, wholesale and retail trade, both in Germany and internationally. It employs some 2,300 people with 1,930 of these based in Weiden. In 2006/2007, Witt generated sales of 545 million Euro (IFRS).

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 fulfilment 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
FKI Logistex
tel: +44 (0) 1536 480611
e-mail: jackie.rutter@eu.fkilogistex.com.

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