York, PA: Westfalia Technologies Inc. has completed commissioning of an Automated Storage and Retrieval System (AS/RS) and Savanna.NET Warehouse Control System (WCS) for the Pepsi Beverages Co.’s (PBC) facility in Tampa, FL.
The flexible, high density AS/RS meets PBC’s need for maximum storage, high throughput, buffers for handling peak production from their bottling plant, and aids in preparing various types of pallets to ship to customers.
Savanna.NET WCS manages and controls all products flows throughout the facility from receiving to order fulfillment. It is a complex system as PBC requires full layer and mixed layer palletizing in order to have ‘store ready’ pallets loaded onto their straight and bay trucks.
Among the technologies controlled via Savanna.NET WCS are the two Storage/Retrieval Machines (SRMs) of the AS/RS, conveying systems for pallets and cases, five KUKA robots for layer picking / palletizing, pallet squaring stations, stretch-wrapping, print & apply labeling, and the integration of the WCS to PBC’s existing ERP / WMS system.
The Pepsi Beverage Co., based in Somers, NY is the largest manufacturer, seller and distributor of Pepsi beverages, with over 100 plants worldwide and 545 distribution centers. Among the brands they handle are Pepsi, Aquafina, Aqua Minerale, Tropicana, Lipton Iced Tea, Starbucks Frappuccino, Dole juices, Mountain Dew, Sierra Mist and the SoBe line of beverages.
Pepsi’s commitment to the environment, and to the ‘reduce waste’ principles of Six Sigma, attracted them to Westfalia’s Go Green with High Density AS/RS design. Compared to a conventional warehouse, the multiple deep design has major financial benefits as storage space is maximized, which translates into reduced building construction costs, lower sustainable operating costs (reduced energy, labor and product waste costs), as well as increased inventory accuracy through Savanna.NET WCS.
An addition to the existing facility, this new compact warehouse uses only 30 percent of the footprint of a conventional facility, thereby having less impact on the environment too.
“Automated order fulfillment at the case and layer level is clearly the direction many of our clients are heading. Our focus of integrating reserve storage and automated replenishment delivers fully integrated solutions for the beverage industry, combining automation of deep reserve and order selection,” states Dan Labell, president of Westfalia.
From the bottling lines, palletized products are delivered to the AS/RS for storage. As pallets are needed for order selection, they are placed by the SRMs into pick and build positions, and transferred via Westfalia’s TC1500 Single Transfer Car with Satellite into a buffer zone serviced by a KUKA Linear Gantry.
Known as the High Speed Layer Pick (HSLP) system, the gantry picks single SKU layers at the rate of 3,000 cases per hour utilizing two robotic layer grippers suspended from an overhead gantry. Two additional robotic gantry grippers are used to remove and replenish the empty pallets.
Another component of the automated system is the Mixed Layer Pick (MXLP) system, which through manual Pick-to-Light case picking, automated material handling conveyors and robotic palletizing form and build layers of mixed SKU by like package type cases, at a rate of 2,000 per hour. These HSLP and MXLP rates are over five times the manual pick rates of PBC’s traditional warehouses. KUKA Systems’ unique layer forming software is used to build the layers, and all product movements and robot missions are tracked and managed by Savanna.NET WCS.
“The cooperation with Westfalia has been key to the success of this project. They are a company we can trust and they always have their partners and their customers’ best interests in mind when executing a project. From the robustness of the equipment to the flexibility of the software the Westfalia products are reliable,” states Aaron Corcoran, director of logistics at KUKA Systems NA.