© KNAPP General | April 10, 2019
KNAPP OSR system installed in massive Minnestota Digi-Key expansion
KNAPP Inc. has been awarded a significant automated order fulfillment, value-added manufacturing and warehousing contract from Digi-Key Electronics for its 2.2 million square-foot expansion facility in Thief River Falls, Minnesota.
Once fully operational, the expansion is expected to add more than USD 188 million in fiscal revenue to the state’s tax base, according to a press release issued by KNAPP. Currently under construction, Digi-Key’s new facility will warehouse and ship customer orders using the new automated KNAPP system beginning in 2021. The system will be the largest of its kind completed by KNAPP. According to a Knapp press release this week, a primary goal of the project is to provide a clean, modern, efficient, safe, people-centered work environment for Digi-Key team members. Plans include modern break rooms, employee amenities, and an open work environment that will be designed into the facility to enhance the Digi-Key team member experience. High-efficiency equipment and modern environmental and lighting systems will also be included to reduce environmental impact. The highly automated goods-to-person Knapp OSR Shuttle systems, designed to grow and evolve with Digi-Key’s changing supplier and customer needs, will initially be sized to store nearly 1 million unique electronic components (stock keeping units or “SKUs”) with a final design capacity of 1.86 million SKUs stored in the OSR. The system will utilize over 1,000 shuttles to support order fulfillment and customer service targets. Digi-Key’s facility will have a total storage capacity of 2.7 million SKUs in stock. “The decision to partner with KNAPP on this project was primarily based on KNAPP’s history of innovation in this sector, as well as KNAPP’s proven performance in implementing highly successful, automated distribution centers for major global brands,” added Brian DeHaan, Digi-Key’s Director of Material Handling and Automation. KNAPP will be working closely with the Digi-Key management team both during installation and after the system is on-line, to ensure a smooth startup and ongoing operation. According to Josef Mentzer, CEO of KNAPP, the company plans to add more than 60 highly-skilled technical staff members to the Thief River Falls location during the coming months. Mentzer stated, “The Digi-Key project is one of KNAPP’s largest and most important projects, and we are excited to partner with Digi-Key to optimize Digi-Key’s order fulfillment quality, performance and cost of operations.” Digi-Key Electronics is based in Thief River Falls, Minnesota and is a global, full-service distributor of both prototype/design and production quantities of electronic components. KNAPP is an international provider of custom-designed intralogistics solutions in health care, retail, apparel, food, manufacturing and ecommerce sectors, with North American headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia.