Digi-Key opens Product Distribution Center expansion
Digi-Key Electronics has cut the ribbon, celebrating the opening of its Product Distribution Center expansion (PDCe), expanding the company's headquarters' footprint by 2.2 million square feet for a combined total of more than 3 million square feet.
The new facility in Thief River Falls, Minnesota, allows Digi-Key to pick, pack and ship nearly three times the previous daily average of 27,000 packages to customers in more than 180 countries around the world, a press release reads.
"This is a significant milestone for all Digi-Key employees and our community," said Dave Doherty, president of Digi-Key. "Our new product distribution center expansion will help us continue to deliver excellence to our customers for many years to come. As exciting as this expansion is for us, our hope is that our customers truly don't notice a difference – the transition for them should be seamless, and if anything, result in an even better customer service experience than they are already accustomed to."
According to Steve Grove, commissioner of Minnesota DEED, the opening of this facility is made possible by local and state economic support which will contribute an additional USD 500 million in economic output, as well as the addition of more than 1,000 new jobs.
The opening of the facility comes at a time of record growth for the company – Digi-Key wrapped up 2021 growing faster than ever before with a 65% growth rate, and bookings in 2022 are up more than 25% over last year. This year has also been one of the largest years for supplier additions for the company with 250 suppliers already added for the year. Since construction began in 2018, Digi-Key has added 1,500 suppliers and 1.5 million part numbers to their inventory.
The new facility is nearly fully automated, the only task that is truly done by hand is the actual picking of parts. Among the racks of components, carts are wire-guided so that the only thing a cart driver will have to worry about is where to stop. The wire-guided system is said to save more than 10% of time.
The product distribution center expansion features two primary conveyor systems to provide redundancy in the case of a breakdown and provide opportunities for future growth. Scalability and growth were top of mind in the plans and design of the new building, and the majority of the fourth floor is currently open for the time being. There are over 27 miles of automated conveyor belt in the new facility, and an average order will travel more than 3,200 feet inside the building.