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Ansell Healthcare opens new European Distribution Centre in Aalst



More growth prompts manufacturer of industrial and medical gloves and condoms

to expand its logistics capacity



Brussels, 14th October 2008 - Ansell Healthcare, the world leader in personal protection products for industrial, medical and consumer applications has experienced strong growth in recent years, culminating today in the opening of a new European distribution centre in Aalst. The new facility doubles the company's logistics capacity to 12,554 m² of warehouse space. The new distribution centre is Ansell Healthcare Europe's largest and will service a network of customers in over 70 countries. Building the new distribution centre was a joint project between Ansell Healthcare Europe and leading logistics player, Ziegler, and represents an investment of 8 million EUR.

Ansell Healthcare Europe has been operating in Belgium since 1989. In 2001, the company established its headquarters for EMEA (Europe, Middle East & Africa) in Anderlecht. Currently there are 173 employees working at the company's locations in Anderlecht and Aalst.



Aalst distribution centre: the supply chain hub for Europe

The new distribution centre in Aalst is Ansell Healthcare Europe's largest and is the nerve centre from which the company coordinates all of its logistics-related business between its various suppliers, the Ansell production plants in other countries and thousands of customers in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. The new building covers a total area of 12,554 m², which is double the capacity of the existing warehouse.


"The company doubled its turnover volume between 2003 and 2008," says Werner Heintz, Senior Vice President and Regional Director EMEA. "This growth is partly due to the launch of various innovative product solutions, such as the highly successful Ansell HyFlex® light assembly gloves, which have become the absolute market benchmark since they were introduced in 1999." By investing in a new warehouse, Ansell has not only increased its storage capacity for these successful products, but the company has also assured the continued efficiency of the service it provides to its customers.


Ansell Healthcare Europe is working closely with Ziegler on its new European Distribution Centre. Ziegler is a leading player in the area of multimodal freight transport (road, air, sea) and logistics services.

"After researching and assessing the various alternative solutions elsewhere in Europe," continues Mr Heintz, "Ansell Healthcare decided to stay in Aalst because of the variety of good road connections to and from the distribution centre. The site also provides us with possible expansion options in the future and our close cooperation with Ziegler dating back over many years was another important factor in our decision."

In addition to its excellent location, the Aalst area also offers a well-trained and highly-motivated workforce - and as the logistics hub for Europe, there is also fast, efficient distribution to the port at Antwerp, as well as to most of the company's distributors and retailers in continental Europe.



Efficiency generated by state-of-the-art technology

"The distribution centre at Aalst is Ansell's most sophisticated logistics centre," says Jan Roosens, Ansell Healthcare Europe's Supply Chain Director. "It has the capacity to handle up to 40 million gloves a month, compared with 30 million at the old facility. The new warehouse also enables us to boost capacity up to 60 or 70 million gloves a month. The distribution centre will also be equipped with the latest state-of-the-art information and automation technology, including the Ziegler warehouse management system that will make the handling and storage of products more efficient through the introduction of barcode scanning and radio frequency identification (RFID)."


The new facility is part of the Six Sigma approach introduced by Ansell Healthcare in 2004. Six Sigma is a management methodology for operational excellence that is recognised worldwide. With Six Sigma the emphasis is on improving customer satisfaction and meeting their expectations by focusing on operational excellence. A few examples of recent Six Sigma projects include the shortening of lead times for ordering samples, improvements to dial-in services, reducing the number of order-entry errors, and so on.



Safety first

Particular attention has been paid at the new distribution centre to the safety of staff and suppliers. As a company involved in the development and manufacturing of protective products, Ansell regarded it as essential that every possible protective and safety aspect should be taken into consideration at the new facility. The company is particularly proud of the fact that there have been no work-related accidents at the current warehouse in Aalst for the past 6 years (2214 days).



About Ansell:

Ansell Limited is a global leader in barrier protective products. With operations in the Americas, Europe, and Asia. Ansell employs more than 11,000 people worldwide and holds leading positions in the natural latex and synthetic polymer glove and condom markets. Ansell operates in three main business segments: Occupational Healthcare, supplying hand protection to the industrial market; Professional Healthcare, supplying surgical and examination gloves to healthcare professionals; and Consumer Healthcare, supplying condoms and consumer hand protection. Information on Ansell and its products can be found at http://www.ansell.eu .



For more information, please contact:

Wouter Piepers
Global Communications Director, Ansell Healthcare
Tel: + 32(0)2 528 75 68, Mob. +32 (0) 478 33 56 32
email: wpiepers@eu.ansell.com

Olivier Trop
Persrelaties, Duval Guillaume I PR
Mob. +32 (0) 486 510 419
email: olivier.trop@duvalguillaume.com






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