Vanderlande Industries B.V., the Dutch firm with its U.S. headquarters in Marietta, has announced its acquisition of Smatec GmbH, a warehouse automation technology developer based in Bielefeld, Germany.
Vanderlande’s primary objective in acquiring Smatec is to develop a knowledge center of innovative systems for its warehousing division. Ralf Schneuing, Smatec’s founder, and his team, are to continue working for Vanderlande.
Vanderlande is a world market provider of baggage systems and a leading supplier of warehouse automation and sorting systems for postal and parcel services. Founded in 1949, it has more than 3,000 employees around the world. Its baggage equipment is used at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and many other airports.
Within the warehouse automation group there are three divisions: baggage, parcel and postal and warehouse automation. The automation division is focused on food and retail, fashion, and parts and component market segments.
Kathleen Gibson, Vanderlande’s marketing manager for North America, told Global Atlanta that with the acquisition of Smatec, the company would implement new warehouse automation systems including state-of-the art pocket sorters used primarily in e-commerce environments. Pocket sorters load random items and then sort them quickly.
In addition, the Smatec acquisition is to enable Vanderlande develop state-of-the-art Bombay sorters for a variety of smaller items.
Ms. Gibson also said that Vanderlande seeks to improve the logistical processes of growing and starting companies that are just beginning to automate a warehouse with its Bombay sorters, which take up less space than many of its competitors.
Vanderlande plans to introduce state-of-the art flat sorters and then develop products for the fashion market on a step-by-step basis. Flat sorters deal with packets in a plastic bag or box.
The transportation and sorting of hanging products require different techniques, she added, that are to be developed according to the need of the fashion industry.
According to a news release, in 2014 Vanderlande increased its annual revenue by 7 percent to more than $1 billion (790 million euros).