Hilton Meats, a large prepacked meat producer based in Zaandam, the Netherlands, has successfully taken a fully automated warehouse into operation. The order fulfilment system, built by Vanderlande Industries, is based on the Automated Tote Picking concept. It includes a six aisle miniload automated storage and retrieval system (AS/RS), which enables fully automated order picking of totes with packed meat. The new facility ensures a more efficient order picking process, makes better use of available space, lowers operational costs and improves stock management and control.

The new system was installed during the busiest production time of Hilton Meats, with minimum impact on ongoing operations. The solution is scalable and prepared to accommodate future business growth as well an upgrade to store / shelf ready order picking.

Vanderlande was selected as a partner because the company proposed a very compact solution with high storage density and had strong IT capabilities. Vanderlande also has a strong track record in meat logistics, with references such as EDEKA (D) Micarna (CH), Bell AG (CH), Casaventa (B) and ProMessa (NL).

Hilton Meats Zaandam processes and packs meat for Albert Heijn, the largest supermarket chain in the Netherlands. To keep up with the growing demand from Albert Heijn, Hilton Meats wanted to increase the storage density in the warehouse, while at the same time increase the efficiency of the order picking process.

The order fulfilment system is based on the Automated Tote Picking concept. In the warehouse, stacks of single SKU totes coming from Production are stored in a six aisle miniload automated storage and retrieval system (AS/RS) with a storage capacity of 200,000 totes. Order information on tote level is transferred from the Hilton’s ERP system (SAP) to Vanderlande’s VISION Warehouse Management System (WMS). Stacks are retrieved from the miniload AS/RS and routed through two stackers to the dolly loading area. Here the totes are automatically loaded in the right sequence on dollies with an output of 300 dollies per hour.

The system includes VISION.BPI, a business process intelligence module, which provides insight into all warehouse processes and enables logistic process optimization. The fully automated warehouse process has significantly improved the efficiency in the order picking process. It makes much better use of available floor space thanks to high storage density. It also lowers operational costs and improves stock management and control.

Hilton Meats Zaandam is part of the Hilton Food Group PLC, a leading specialist in the meat-packing business, supplying major international food retailers, such as Tesco, Albert Heijn, ICA and Coop. All packed meat is distributed from state-of-the-art facilities located in the UK, Ireland, the Netherlands, Sweden, Poland and Denmark.

For more information about automated tote picking, visit Vanderlande Industries at



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