AUTOMATION is becoming ever-more prevalent in the supply chain, as evidenced by the installation of a robot-based order picking system at Coca-Cola Amatil’s Auckland distribution centre.
The beverage behemoth is to install Swisslog ACPaQ picking system, which uses robots for palletising and depalletising and an automated shuttle technology. The fully automated system allows customised and scalable pallets to be created.
There are three robot cells in the system; each one can handle up to four cases simultaneously and stack up to 1000 cases per hour into mult-product pallet loads ready for customer delivery.
Amatil has been using a fully automated pallet storage system in both Auckland and Northmead since 2007, and the expansion into robot picking allows the company to meet rising demand whilst reducing costs and improving efficiency.
Coca-Cola Amatil NZ general manager – supply chain John Truscott said the new system will enable the business to keep pace with increased demand along with rising expectations on the quality of customer deliveries.
“We are excited by this technology and the advantages that the fully automated case picking system provides us,” he said.
“The whole picking system will be fully integrated using Swisslog SynQ software, which also controls automated delayering of single product pallets into individual cases.”