Coca-Cola Amatil New Zealand has announced a major expansion planned for its Auckland Distribution Centre in 2018. The robot-based ACPaQ solution is a world-class innovation and is the latest development to emerge from the bundled robotics and intralogistics know-how of Swisslog and KUKA.
Swisslog has been commissioned to employ its robotic based order picking system, ACPaQ, which combines robotics solutions for depalletizing and palletizing, combined with the CycloneCarrier shuttle technology and enables a fully automated process, bringing high throughput and reliable picking of customers’ orders.
Amatil has been using a fully automated pallet storage system 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.
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.
“We are excited by this technology and the advantages that the fully automated case picking system provides us. This will certainly strengthen our capabilities heading into the 2018 pre-Christmas period,” Truscott 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.”
The heart of the new system will be three RowPaQ robot cells, which can each handle up to four cases simultaneously and stack up to 1,000 cases per hour into multi-product pallet loads ready for customer delivery. This is a far higher throughput than existing mixed case robotic palletisers. 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 new solution also includes Swisslog’s multilevel shuttle storage system (CycloneCarrier) that quickly delivers sequenced cases to the robots, all linked with pallet and case conveyors.
The ACPaQ system will be installed this year and replace a manual, voice directed picking system but will link with the existing automated pallet store to create a seamless operation.
Sean Ryan, Head of Sales & Consulting at Swisslog Pty Ltd said: “Coca-Cola Amatil are leading the way in applying new technology to support their long-term business requirements and we are excited to be working with them. The modular design of ACPaQ has been specifically developed so extra capacity can be added with increasing demand.” This new project continues Swisslog’s strong relationship with such a major part of the food and beverage sector in New Zealand.