Dürkopp sortation equipment has key role at Sainsbury’s DC

The position of Dürkopp Fördertechnik as European and UK market leaders in warehouse E- Commerce automation and sortation has been reinforced at this year’s The Logistics Awards where the company helped Sainsbury’s win the category for new facilities over 150,000sq. ft.

Durkopp’s Rolladapter and Pocket Sorter systems were installed in Sainsbury’s main UK distribution centre at Bedford where the firm put in some 400,000 sq.ft. of multilevel storage.  Now complete, the new system is capable of sending up to 3.3 million garments per week to both, online customers and stores in perfect order sequence. Goods on hangers are processed on the Rolladapter, while the Pocket Sorter handles flat goods.

Sainsbury’s identified a build sequence that allowed for the installation of 400,000 sq. ft. of multileveled storage, a major mezzanine floor installation above the loading bank and the installation of three new sorters, pack benches, induction stations and associated equipment whilst working around the existing operation.



Once the storage was in, work began on piling and installing a mezzanine above the site’s despatch bank – whilst keeping it operational at all times.  This involved loading routines to be regularly re-configured as well as overnight and weekend piling and complex screening to minimise dirt and noise.

With the mezzanine in place, combined teams from both Dürkopp and Sainsbury’s commenced work on installing the three new hybrid adapter/pocket sorters.  Two of the sorters were installed ‘cleanly’ on the mezzanine floor, however the final sorter needed installing directly in place of one of the existing, older sorters.

Annette Sommer, UK general manager for Dürkopp Fördertechnik, said: “I am delighted we were involved with this ground-breaking project, and winning a leading industry award against strong competition is an added bonus.  Because Dürkopp technology is modular, many companies have successfully extended their original installations as their E Commerce businesses grew and the balance of retail and online purchases changed.”

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