Actiw automated CCEN’s production warehouse for

Maximized utilization of existing warehouse with high handling capacity

Customer: Coca-Cola Enterprises Norge AS
Country: Norway

Coca-Cola Enterprises is the third largest Coca-Cola bottler in the world, and they serve customers and consumers in Belgium, France, Great Britain, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden.Coca-Cola Enterprises Norge AS’s (CCEN) facility operates both as a production warehouse and as a direct-store-delivery distribution center.

The new system delivers

100%

inventory control

Business challenge: Increase the efficiency and flexibility of the bottling operations

The customer’s project goal was to increase the efficiency and capacity of the bottling operations to meet an increasingly demanding market situation in Norway. In addition, they wanted to have more flexibility in terms of future product innovations and package diversity, potential business fluctuations, volume growth in their core SKUs, and to limit expensive overflow storage options.

Initially, CCEN had a conventional warehouse building that included space of various heights. Storing of products was based on block stacking and partially on gravity racks. CCEN wanted to have the flexibility for meeting future opportunities or potential changes in terms of product range and package diversity.

They also needed improvement in their inventory accuracy, and generally saw automation as a good way to improve safety and reduce human errors and interventions. Due to the lack of storing capacity at their site, CCEN was obliged to rent warehouse capacity outside, causing additional handling and distribution costs. Another important objective for CCEN was that their and their customers’ daily operations would not be influenced during the duration of the project.

Beverages

Solution: The unique dynamic storage technology with over 17 000 net pallet positions

Actiw installed a dual-module ACTIW System, the unique dynamic storage technology that buffers, sorts, and stages palletized loads in an exact sequence to help solve CCEN’s challenges. With over 17 000 net pallet positions, the CCEN facility is one of the largest ACTIW Systems in Europe.

The ACTIW System was split into two separate units, partly to facilitate customer’s day to day operations during installation and also to give resilience during normal operation. One segment of the ACTIW system can be shut down and safely entered while the other segment is in operation.

The pallet flows from production lines and external bottlers (toll fillers) were grouped to three warehouse in-feed areas to simplify the conveyor system and to minimize the space ACTIW Systems Case Study requirements. The pallets are identified and their profile and deflection are checked before transfer to one of ACTIW input points. Approved pallets continue into the ACTIW System. Unacceptable loads are routed to the reject spur for rework and return to the system. Principle functions are equal in every infeed area.

ACTIW System’s storage algorithms direct Vertical Transfer Lifts (VTLs), Cross Aisle Transfers (CATs), and Deep Lane Transfers (DLTs) to position the incoming pallets within the system based on their retrieval time. This ensures that the next pallets required for output are at, or near, the output paths of the Deep Lanes for quick access.

The system has five staging segments. Two segments present pallets long side ahead on 3 levels located at the end of the Deep Lanes, and two segments present pallets short side ahead on 3 levels located in front of Deep Lanes’ ends to provide full pallet replenishment to picking area. One segment presents pallets short side ahead at the side of the ACTIWSystem for full pallet deliveries. Forklifts pull loads from the staging lane face and load them directly onto their assigned picking place or dock/trailer.

The system is able to create automatically an output request to the staging lanes on SKU basis, or alternatively those are filled based on orders. ACTIW continually replenishes the staging lane face, so the forklift operator can concentrate on rapid transfers to assigned destinations.

The warehouse control system calculates the best route to the destination and delivers the pallets by optimally using the transfer components.

Results: More efficient and profitable storing and handling

CCEN’s new operation is more efficient, profitable, and environmentally friendly. The storing and handling capacity objectives were reached, and the need for outside storage was eliminated.

The need for manual handling between the production lines and picking and dock area was minimized and the costs of logistics operations thus decreased. With this flexible warehouse design, CCEN is well equipped to meet most future opportunities or potential changes within its product portfolio with increased efficiency.

ACTIW’s automated handling reduces product damage. Each pallet is stored separately, so the problems they used to have with the stacking of pallets on top of each other are eliminated. Also, the new system delivers 100% inventory control. Despite a high automation level, system maintenance remains safe and simple, because normal periodic inspections and maintenance take place mainly outside the rack structure.