Coca-Cola Amatil chooses robotic picking solution
As part of the automation and major expansion of its Auckland distribution centre, Coca-Cola Amatil will be installing Swisslog’s fully automated robot-based order picking system, ACPaQ, later this year.
The ACPaQ technology is an evolution of Swisslog’s advanced automation technology, which combines robotics solutions for palletising and depalletising with Swisslog’s CycloneCarrier shuttle technology to create a fully automated process that facilitates high throughput and reliable picking of orders for logistics, distribution, food and beverage and retail applications.
Swisslog and the KUKA Group have combined their robotics and intralogistics expertise to create this fully automated solution that allows customised and scalable pallets to be created.
John Truscott, general manager – supply chain for Coca-Cola Amatil NZ, says the new system will enable the business to keep pace with increased demand along with rising expectations on the quality of customer deliveries.
“The whole picking system will be fully integrated using Swisslog SynQ software, which also controls automated delayering of single product pallets into individual cases,” he said.
Amatil has been using a fully automated pallet storage system in both Auckland and Northmead since 2007 and the expansion into robotic picking allows the company to meet rising customer demand while reducing costs and improving quality, efficiency and predictability in its operations.
The heart of the new system will be three Swisslog RowPaQ robot cells, which can each handle up to four cases simultaneously and stack up to 1000 cases/h into multiproduct pallet loads ready for customer delivery.
“This is a far higher throughput than existing mixed-case robotic palletisers, which greatly improves operational efficiency,” said Sean Ryan, head of sales and consulting, Swisslog. “These robots also have unique grippers designed for fast, gentle and accurate handling of almost any carton, shrink-wrapped or foiled package. The solution is completely scalable and additional RowPaQ cells can be added to the system to increase throughput as required.”
The solution also includes Swisslog’s multilevel shuttle storage system, CycloneCarrier, which quickly delivers sequenced cases to the robots, all linked with pallet and case conveyors.
The ACPaQ replaces a manual, voice-directed picking system but will link with the existing automated pallet store to create a seamless operation. It can be used in ambient-temperature and chilled warehouse zones and can handle almost all types of cartons, shrink-wrapped or foiled packages, and pallet types used in retail and beverage industries.
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