Dematic Automates the New Warehouse of Yusen Logistics in Belgium

Heusenstamm / Melsele July 7, 2020 – Dematic automates the new to build warehouse of the logistician Yusen Logistics Benelux. For this the intralogistics specialist provides a Hybrid Automated Guided Vehicle (AGV) system. The system consists of Hybrid Very Narrow Aisle (VNA) AGVs and Hybrid Reach AGVs by Dematic. Combined with a Dematic conveyor system, it enables fully automatic pallet loading and unloading, storing and retrieval. The new warehouse in Belgian city of Melsele close to Antwerp with its almost 5,000 square meters and 17 meters high ceilings offers space for up to 15,000 pallets. Yusen Logistics ordered four Dematic Hybrid AGVs. This will ensure the handling of pallets in a faster, safer, and more accurate way despite the high storage density. The order fulfillment of pharmaceutical products of Yusen´s clients from all over Europe will become much more efficient while meeting all requirements.

“Efficient warehousing and distribution management is key to commercial success in today’s highly competitive environment. With the AGV system of Dematic we will be the best possible Third Party Logistics Provider for our customers from the healthcare industry to get the right product to the right destination, on time, on budget, with end-to-end visibility”, says Bruno Jacques, Managing Director of Yusen Logistics Benelux & Nordics. The new warehouse is an extension of the existing Yusen Antwerp Logistics Campus and will allow Yusen Logistics to substantially increase its storage capacity to serve their pharmaceutical customers throughout Europe in a modern, temperature controlled and fully automated way.

The new VNA warehouse with 12 aisles on nine levels offers 15,000 pallet storage locations. The benefit of the narrow aisles is a very compact storage. The controlled environment ensures compliance with the quality and the temperature regulations. The system comprises two Dematic Hybrid Reach AGVs and two Dematic Hybrid VNA AGVs. It has a modern design, based on man-on-board VNA vehicles or reach trucks and is equipped with the Dematic AGV automation package. The VNA versions utilizes a dual guidance method: wire guidance in the aisles of the rack storage and laser navigation guidance outside of the aisles. They transport safely and store in a very accurate way up to a height of 14.5 meters. The higher accuracy also leads to a lower damage rate than manual processes do. The Hybrid AGVs can operate automatically as well as switch into manual driving and product handling. This will allow the employees of Yusen Logistics to gradually get used to the new automated warehouse. At the same time, it ensures a high level of work safety and system availability. 

Thanks to the flexibility of the AGV systems, Yusen Logistics is able to increase throughput volumes at short notice during seasonal peaks by means of higher frequencies, additional shifts or longer operating times. Layout adjustments are also easy to implement so that the company is equipped for future growth. A possible expansion with an additional AGV is considered in the planning. Flexibility was one of the decision criteria of Yusen Logistics Benelux. As Bruno Jacques summarizes: “With the AGV system of Dematic we are prepared for today’s short product lifecycles, tougher time-to-market pressures, more demanding seasonal inventory builds and not least for our expansion strategy.” The system is completed by a Dematic conveyor system with a buffer functionality and an integrated pallet profile check station for the infeeding process as well as a barcode scanner for a perfect tracking and tracing of the pharmaceuticals.

The Hybrid VNA and Hybrid Reach AGVs are controlled by Dematic's cutting-edge and real-time AGV management software E'tricc® (Transport Intelligent Control Centre). It handles both order management and traffic control and ensures a smooth storage and retrieval process. The software is also connected to the Warehouse Management System of Yusen Logistics. Screens visualize in real time the status of all hybrid AGVs and guarantees a transparent overview of the transport order status. Thanks to the automation more pallets can be handled with less vehicles. “In the end, we chose Dematic because the concept offered was well thought out. It allows us to achieve the required capacities and flexibility, all against the background of a convincing return on investment. The references Dematic could provide for comparable projects were also a decisive factor”, says Bruno Jacques. An additional plus: The Dematic service team will be available at short notice as the Dematic Mobile Automation COE is located in nearby Zwijndrecht, Belgium.


About Dematic

Dematic is an intralogistics innovator that designs, builds and supports intelligent, automated solutions for manufacturing, warehouse and distribution environments for customers that are powering the future of commerce. With engineering centers, manufacturing facilities and service centers located in more than 25 countries, Dematic’s global network of 8,000 employees have helped achieve more than 6,000 worldwide customer installations for some of the world’s leading brands. Headquartered in Atlanta, Dematic is a member of KION Group, a global leader in industrial trucks, supply chain solutions and related services, and a leading provider of warehouse automation.


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