Digi-Key Electronics and KNAPP Partner to Support Digi-Key’s Massive 2.2 Million Square Foot Expansion in Thief River Falls, Minnesota

Press information: Published on in Industry, Retail, Technology

New Facility Will Include Latest Generation KNAPP OSR Shuttle Evo Technology to Meet Growing Customer Demand and Increase Service Levels.

KNAPP Inc. announced that it has been awarded a significant automated order fulfillment, value-added manufacturing and warehousing contract from Minnesota-based Digi-Key Electronics.

The new 2.2 million square foot Digi-Key expansion facility, presently under construction, will begin warehousing and shipping customer orders, utilizing the new automated KNAPP system, beginning in 2021.  Once installed, this system will be the largest of its kind completed by KNAPP.  Digi-Key is partnering with McShane Construction Company as its general contractor partner and KNAPP as its automation partner on the project. A primary project goal is to provide a clean, modern, efficient, safe, people-centered work environment for Digi-Key team members.  Modern break rooms, employee amenities, and an open work environment 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 OSR Shuttle system will initially be sized to store nearly 1 million unique electronic components (stock keeping units or “SKUs”) with a final design capacity of 1.66 million SKUs. The system will utilize over 1,000 shuttles to support order fulfillment and customer service targets.  With a total design capacity of 2.7 million SKUs in stock, Digi-Key will be well positioned to serve its customers’ needs for the foreseeable future.  The highly efficient system will support Digi-Key’s ability to grow and evolve with its supplier and customer needs.  Digi-Key will also be able to continue to expand and fulfill orders out of its Thief River Falls headquarters facility for years to come, continuing its deep financial commitment to the community and state and adding more than $188 million in fiscal revenue to the state’s tax base.

According to Dave Doherty, Digi-Key President, “Digi-Key’s investment in automation was necessary to meet our projected growth in demand, while at the same time maintaining the company’s long-standing commitment to its employees and home community of Thief River Falls”.

“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. In addition, KNAPP will be working closely with the Digi-Key management team both during installation and after the system is on-line, to provide resident support to ensure a smooth startup and ongoing operation.

According to Josef Mentzer, CEO of KNAPP the company expects to hire more than 60 highly skilled technical staff members to work in 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.”

About Digi-Key Electronics

Digi-Key Electronics, based in Thief River Falls, MN., is a global, full-service distributor of both prototype/design and production quantities of electronic components, offering more than 6.8 million products from over 750 quality name-brand manufacturers. With over 4,000 global team members and having 1.4 million products in stock along with an impressive selection of online resources, Digi-Key is committed to the growth and development of its team members and to its expanding customer base, stocking the broadest range of electronic components in the industry and providing the best service possible. Additional information and access to Digi-Key’s broad product offering is available at www.digikey.com.


Kevin Reader
Director Business Development and Marketing
M: 678-267-4426
O: 678-388-2880 x 5226

KNAPP is an internationally operating company and is one of the world market leaders in warehouse logistics and automation with over 4000 employees worldwide. As a solutions provider, KNAPP provides one-stop, custom-designed intralogistics solutions in health care, retail, apparel, food, manufacturing and ecommerce sectors. Our clients experience results that are flexible, resource efficient, ergonomic and self-learning. The company’s North American headquarters are in Atlanta, GA. For more information, visit www.knapp.com.