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Swisslog congratulates dm-drogerie markt on the "German Logistics Award 2020"

The German logistics association Bundesvereinigung Logistik (BVL) has recognized the dm distribution center in Wustermark with the German Logistics Award 2020. The heart of the system is the new robot-based solution concept "ACPaQ". This fully automated mixed case palletizing solution combines high end robotics with the logistics expertise from Swisslog. The innovative distribution center is part of the drugstore group’s investment in automation and robotics with a focus on sustainability and competitiveness.

VIDEO: The dm distribution center with Swisslog ACPaQ: Fully automated mixed-case palletizing solution

Buchs, 22 October 2020 - "We are very pleased that dm-drogerie markt has won this prestigious award. On behalf of the entire Swisslog team, I would like to sincerely congratulate dm," said Dr. Christian Baur, CEO of Swisslog. " As dm’s automation partner for intralogistics at Wustermark, a lot of passion and innovation has gone into this project. We have worked closely together on the robotics and material flow over the last few years so I am therefore all the more pleased that the distribution center has been presented with this accolade," says Baur.

Christian Bodi, Managing Director Logistics at dm-drogerie markt, accepted the "German Logistics Award 2020" from the German Logistics Association (BVL) together with Katrin Stiemer, Anja Kircher, Dr. Michael Sternbeck and Eike-Niklas Jung. The award ceremony took place virtually due to the coronavirus pandemic on Wednesday, October 21.

The Karlsruhe-based drugstore group with over 2,000 dm stores in Germany received the seal of approval for its project "Integrative. Intelligent. Automated. Trade Logistics at dm", which is being implemented with maximum efficiency in the drugstore chain’s new distribution center in Wustermark, near Berlin. This involves consistent digitalization of the supply chain using new technologies. As general contractor, Swisslog contributed a key component — the new "ACPaQ" solution.

Fully automated picking solution for mixed pallets

"ACPaQ" stands for "Automated Case Palletizing" and is the winner of the "German Innovation Award 2020". This fully automated picking solution for mixed pallets combines high-end robotics from KUKA with Swisslog's many years of logistics expertise. "We have developed ACPaQ primarily for applications challenged with a multi-faceted range of small parts and high throughput rates", explains Baur, and emphasizes that "at dm, ACPaQ makes material flows faster, more ergonomic and more economical than ever before." The ACPaQ solution is also installed in logistics centers of Coca-Cola Amatil in New Zealand and of other leading companies worldwide.

dm-drogerie markt receives the German Logistics Award at the BVL Congress in Berlin

Fast throughput - palletized for the stores

The new logistics center in Wustermark went into operation in spring 2020. In addition to storage capacity for 24,000 pallets, it consists of a shuttle system, the "CycloneCarrier" from Swisslog. This provides buffer storage for 265,000 packages. Seven KUKA palletizing robots ("RowPaQs") are connected to the CycloneCarrier system, supplemented by a further eight manual picking lines. Equipped with special inline grippers, the robots palletize up to four packs simultaneously, making them much more efficient than manual solutions.

Using the "Load Build Manager" functionality from Swisslog's "SynQ" software, the robots perform palletizing in a sequential packing order - individually adapted to the depalletizing or shelf-filling routes in each dm store, according to the last-in-first-out principle. The overall control of the ACPaQ system is handled by Swisslog's "SynQ" software. Christian Bodi explains: “We have created a digital twin of each dm branch and thus raised our supply chain to a new level.”

Third major project by Swisslog for dm

After the distribution centers in Waghäusel and Weilerswist, the new building in Wustermark is already the third major logistics project that Swisslog has realized for dm-drogerie markt. "We have a longstanding partnership," says Baur and concludes, "the latest collaboration is also special because we were able to test and apply the robotic cell of our system under real conditions for the first time. This is a great sign of confidence. dm has invested over 100 million euros in its logistics site in Wustermark, including a valuable investment in sustainability. According to Bodi, “the technology allows further growth, ensures the ability to deliver and ultimately contributes to fulfilling customer expectations.”

About Swisslog

Swisslog delivers data-driven & robotic solutions for your logistics automation alongside reliable, modular service concepts. Collaborating with forward-thinking companies, we are committed to setting new standards in warehouse automation to provide future-proof products and solutions. As part of the KUKA Group, our customers trust the competence of our passionate employees – more than 14,000 people working across the globe.