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Woolworths Mulgrave NDC toasts success at Mercury Awards

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article image Woolworths' upgraded Mulgrave NDC

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Woolworths’ newly upgraded National Distribution Centre (NDC) in Mulgrave, Victoria was a winner at this year’s Mercury Logistics Awards.

Presented by Logistics and Materials Handling magazine, the awards recognise supply chain and logistics excellence, with Woolworths winning the Warehousing and Storage Solutions Award.

Dematic was involved in the upgrade of Woolworth’s Mulgrave national distribution system, introducing new technologies and advanced IT systems to make it possible for the NDC to cost-effectively meet changing market demands, and deliver the high levels of productivity, accuracy, safety and service needed to compete in today’s distribution environment.

Key objectives of the $14 million investment in systems and conveyor infrastructure included increasing order processing capacity to meet forecast growth, flexibility to meet changing demand, and ensuring on-going logistics, software and IT systems supportability over the next decade.  

The upgrades were executed by Dematic’s modernisation team while the NDC continued its round-the-clock six days a week operation with major infrastructure works managed within the constraints of a live operating environment.   

Major components of the upgrade included:

  • Introducing a new picking methodology for all split case orders 
  • Relocating and extending various storage systems 
  • Building a new pick module, and reconfiguring existing areas 
  • Installing zero-pressure accumulation conveyors prior to the crossbelt sorter infeed 
  • Introducing pre-sort scanners and conveyors 
  • Reconfiguring the crossbelt sorter infeeds and sortation lanes 
  • Installing new five-sided scan arrays in preparation for the switch to GTIN scanning 
  • Decommissioning and removing a redundant AS/RS 
  • Development, configuration and integration of new software suite 
  • Introduction of voice-directed picking     
The technological and systems upgrade has helped the Mulgrave NDC fulfil twice as many orders as before, distributing over one million cases a week to 800+ stores nationwide. The various upgrades will give Mulgrave NDC the capacity to increase throughput volumes by up to 80% and to service over 1000 stores a week by 2020.    

Dematic is a global leader providing an impressive range of intelligent logistics and materials handling solutions. 

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