Kmart DC installs Dematic conveyor

Logistics systems supplier Dematic has installed a state-of-the art conveyor system at Kmart’s new distribution centre in Melbourne.

Kmart DC installs Dematic conveyor
Kmart DC installs Dematic conveyor

November 17, 2011

Logistics systems supplier Dematic has installed a state-of-the art conveyor system at Kmart’s new distribution centre (DC) in Melbourne.

The discount retailer's new DC services the apparel and general merchandise distribution requirements for 65 stores in Victoria, Northern Territory, Tasmania and South Australia, as well as a further 15 stores in New Zealand.

Therefore its strategic location
in the new Goodman Interchange Industrial Estate
close to
major arterial roads was a key consideration for Kmart.

can now
consolidate general merchandise distribution from its previous Hoppers Crossing, Laverton and Woodlands DCs under the one roof, providing significant cost and operational efficiencies for the business.

The heart of the
75,000 square metre facility is its cross dock sorting system.

Making use of Dematic's crossbelt conveyor technology, the system has the capacity to automatically sort up to 6000 items per hour to individual orders for up to 88 stores concurrently.

Each of the crossbelt sorting system’s 273 individual is equipped with its own conveyor belt, enabling it to handle and sort a diverse range of product types and sizes.

Goods up to 1.1m long and weighing up to 30kg are loaded onto four automatic inducts, where they are accumulated and conveyed onto the crossbelt sorter carriages.

The carriages travel around a 260m loop at speeds of up to 2m per sec, automatically sorting their packages to 88 sort lanes, facilitating efficient cross docking and individual store order assembly.

Kmart was one of the first companies in Australia to implement crossbelt sorting technology over 15 years ago, with its first system in Melbourne in 1994, followed by further cross dock sorting systems in Sydney in 1998 and in Brisbane and Perth in 2006.

When the decision was taken to consolidate its Melbourne distribution operations, Kmart asked Dematic to review a range of materials handling options, but eventually went with the crossbelt sorting system developed over 25 years ago.

"The previous crossbelt sorting systems, which were originally implemented for the Coles Myer group, have provided consistent, reliable performance for Kmart over the past decade," explains Dematic Retail Industry Group Manager John Briscoe.

"Of course, technology, controls, software and IT systems have changed a lot over the past decade, and these have further enhanced the performance and reliability of crossbelt sorting systems."

Kmart uses the crossbelt sorter to handle import and local supplied product, both SSCC and non-SSCC labelled, and even sorts batch picked Pick & Pack product improving the traditional pick costs and accuracy.


A key feature of Dematic crossbelt sorters compared to other types of sorting systems is their ability to handle a wide variety of goods from a single packet of socks up to large packages weighing up to 30kg.

Dematic crossbelt sorters transport goods safely, accurately and gently to their destinations, regardless of their shape, size and surface.

Because they can deliver products to a particular destination with pinpoint accuracy, divert points can be concentrated at close intervals making them very space efficient, saving valuable warehouse floor space.

Bi-directional double-deck crossbelt sorting systems are also available with throughput rates of up to 20,000 items per hour.

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