Beverage distributor installs automated warehouse shuttle system

Wednesday, 03 November, 2021 | Supplied by: Swisslog Australia

BevChain (a wholly owned subsidiary of Linfox) has installed a Swisslog PowerStore automated warehouse shuttle system at its facility in Auburn, NSW, to boost safety, efficiency and increase storage by around 60%.

The beverage distribution specialist delivers tailored beverage supply chain solutions across Australia and New Zealand. With 22 distribution centres across six states, it handles more than 2.5 billion serving units annually.

“PowerStore is next-generation warehouse automation. It has increased storage utilisation by around 60% in the same building footprint, created a safer workplace for our people and will deliver growth for our customers,” said Linfox President, BevChain, Misha Shliapnikoff.

The system is suitable for applications seeking to achieve high throughput and optimal space utilisation, in industries such as fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG), e-grocery and pallet warehousing. It can also operate in a range of environments, from -30°C in frozen food storage up to 50°C, and can easily be retrofitted to warehouses with low ceilings or unusual shapes.

The solution for BevChain consists of vertical conveyors that accommodate fast pallet movements between levels, RowCarriers that retrieve from, and deliver pallets to, transfer stations at the vertical conveyor, and AisleCarriers that use precision lasers to transport RowCarriers between the vertical conveyor and the designated row.

“The new 24/6 facility includes over 30,000 pallet locations, with vertical conveyors transferring pallets to and from one of five levels. It has 20 satellite AisleCarriers and RowCarriers, one in each level of the four quadrants transferring pallets to and from their location. This is all predetermined by Swisslog’s intelligent SynQ software,” Shliapnikoff said.

Swisslog’s SynQ software is fully integrated with BevChain’s warehouse management system to ensure full traceability and trackability including batch numbers and visibility on storage and throughput, using automation for receipt despatch.

Swisslog Managing Director, Australia and New Zealand, Francis Meier said the new PowerStore system provides safety and efficiency benefits to BevChain’s operations. “Replacing manual operations with an automated system increases the accuracy of picking and removes error, which leads to fewer returns and greater profitability,” he said.

“The solution has delivered productivity benefits and makes the warehouse safer and quieter. And, because we were converting an existing manual warehouse, our team worked closely with BevChain to ensure the go-live phase was carried out in stages, to minimise the impact during commissioning,” he said.

To further enhance operational efficiency, and to ensure the system is always operating at optimal levels, BevChain partnered with Swisslog to bring on board a highly trained Swisslog system operations team to work in collaboration with BevChain onsite.

This core team works closely with BevChain to provide software support, training, condition monitoring and spare parts maintenance to improve the overall lifecycle of the automation.

Phone: 02 9869 5900
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