Dematic automates home grocery for Tesco


Dematic is providing UK retailer Tesco with an automated materials handling system for its new 120,000 square feet grocery fulfilment centre in London

Dematic automates home grocery for Tesco
Dematic automates home grocery for Tesco

November 11, 2011

Dematic is providing UK retailer Tesco with an automated materials handling system for its new 120,000 square feet grocery fulfilment centre in London

When it goes live in January 2012, the system will enable Tesco to double its pick rates for grocery home delivery.


The integrated installation will feature zone routing, and separate Multishuttle tote order consolidation buffers for ambient and chilled goods.

The new centre is Tesco’s fourth ‘Dotcom Store’, which is effectively a warehouse dedicated to delivering orders to customers’ homes that have been placed online.

Dotcom stores replace Tesco’s previous operation in some particularly busy areas where employees pick online orders straight from the shelves of its retail stores.

The London Dotcom Store will take over picking for online grocery orders from nine Tesco retail stores in the region.

Dematic’s zone picking system will route customer totes directly to numerous pick zones in the ambient area, where some 18,000 different SKUs are held, and to the 3,000 different SKUs across zones in the chilled area.

Tesco staff will pick grocery, fresh produce and bakery goods into the order totes according to instructions received via wrist mounted Radio Data Terminals.

Once scanned, totes will be sent to the next relevant zone via conveyor. Complete totes are then routed to the Multishuttle consolidation buffers.

The four-aisle ambient Dematic Multishuttle unit can hold up to 10,500 totes for home deliveries, while the two-aisle chilled Multishuttle will hold 4,000 totes.

Once consolidated, the totes will be sent in reversed customer drop sequence to one of the centre’s 28 van loading bays.

All of the integrated system’s operations will be controlled by the Dematic Warehouse Control System (WCS) and Dematic will also carry out the order slotting for all products in all of the zones.

"With each of our stores we aim to move forward the model in terms of accuracy and quality for the customers as well as productivity for Tesco" explains Tesco Operations Development Manager David Burroughs.



"This system will help us reduce our running costs and offer more delivery slots to customers from earlier in the day.

"We wanted to ensure we could get customers’ orders picked, vans loaded, and out on time with the freshest possible produce. The system also gives the accuracy we need to ensure the highest possible service levels," he adds.


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