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W&H Systems Client Wins MH&L Innovation Award


Wirtz Beverage Honored for Bold Integration, Great Use of Technology & Excellent Performance

Carlstadt, NJ – December 10, 2013W&H Systems, Inc., a full-service integrator of conveyor and material handling systems that improve fulfillment operations and achieve maximum warehouse efficiency, announces that its client, Wirtz Beverage of Illinois (Cicero, IL), has won an Innovation Award from Material Handling & Logistics magazine. The MH&L Editorial Advisory Board picks Innovation Award winners from among case studies featured in the magazine during the year that showcase a culture of innovation. Wirtz Beverage was chosen for its innovative use of material handling equipment and automation designed and implemented by W&H Systems.

“We are extremely excited that Wirtz Beverage was chosen to win a Material Handling & Logistics Innovation Award for the project that W&H designed, implemented, and managed,” said Paul Laman, Vice-President of Sales at W&H Systems. “Consolidating three warehouses into a new facility and utilizing state-of-the-art material handling equipment and processes ensured Wirtz could meet their dynamic growth and customer service requirements, while lowering operating costs.”

W&H Systems was the material handling systems integrator that led the Wirtz Beverage project. Technologies implemented included a vertical AS/RS from Westfalia; W&H Systems’ automation control system with full integration of the picking systems including voice-directed picking technology for the individual bottle picks; and a comprehensive conveyor system with a high rate combiner which feeds the shipping sorter allowing Wirtz to achieve a sustainable production rate of 8,800 cases per hour, the best in the industry. Tying together storage, conveyor, and picking technologies required the integration of four different software systems. An ERP system manages processes at the highest level with receiving and put-away processes directed by a WMS.

The judges’ comments about the implementation were:

  • Bold. Quite an undertaking, clearly with top-level support.
  • A good job of understanding requirements and applying the correct material handling solution to those requirements. Good economical solution while integrating software to ensure performance excellence.
  • Impressive implementation of warehouse technology, handling twice the volume that Wirtz previously enjoyed.
  • Excellent combination and integration of multiple technologies to facilitate one aligned, efficient overall system.
  • The successful integration of the various material handling systems with four different software systems was impressive. In the end, they met or exceeded their expectations.
  • Wirtz Beverage’s consolidation was a good response to the need to grow. They realized the advantage of having well executed, high technology systems in one facility rather than average systems across multiple facilities. This decision took foresight and guts to make.
  • Great employment of technology. A private company looking at the long run for ROI.

About W&H Systems, Inc.

W&H Systems, one of America’s most experienced integrators of automated material handling systems, specializes in optimizing the flow of merchandise through warehouses while minimizing labor and maximizing space utilization. Our wide range of equipment utilized in our material handling systems includes conveyor systems, a warehouse control system Shiraz, high-speed carton and unit sortation, AS/RS, GOH systems, paperless picking and packing systems, other commodity equipment and specially designed equipment which complements our material handling system designs. By providing the “Total Solution” (needs assessment, design, software, equipment, implementation, commissioning and support), W&H insures innovative solutions today, for tomorrow’s requirements. W&H has vast experience serving manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers and logistic providers for the consumer goods industries, such as Oriental Trading Company, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Burberry USA, Port Logistics Group, Empire Merchants,  Southern Wine & Spirits, Recreational Equipment, Inc., Jos. A. Bank Clothiers, Armani Exchange, and Belk’s.  For more information, visit www.whsystems.com.