In 2004 Elettric 80 installed the first two Laser Guided Vehicles (LGVs) at the brewery of Carlsberg in Falkenberg, Sweden. These were single pallet fork lift trucks, intended for the supply of empty pallets in the production area. A few years later Carlsberg placed an order for 22 additional fork lift LGVs, now aiming for complete automation of the warehouse process, which was then manual.
With a minimum of disturbances to production, Carlsberg have achieved full warehouse automation through a solution which allows dynamic updates and modifications whenever required by process changes within Carlsbergs operations.
The warehouse comprises approx 20000 pallets; 11500 in block storage and 8500 in gravity racks and a few single racks for the preforms. Careful planning, consideration and open communication between the parties made system installation possible during full production in the brewery, as the warehouse was automated in a few steps, gradually taking over new areas from manual handling.
In 2008 Elettric 80 commissioned the automation system, consisting of the previous two LGVs, and 22 new LGVs out of which 10, thanks to collapsible forks, can adapt to carrying either one or two pallets, depending on the character of the mission. The other twelve always carry two pallets at a time for optimised efficiency.
With production operational 24/7, up to 500 pallets per hour are transported.
Kristoffer Andersson, Warehouse Manager of Carlsberg, says: - The system capacity fulfils all expectations and is sufficient also at production peaks. Through the installation of Elettric 80s LGV system we have obtained more stable operation and the handling of pallets from production to warehouse is now considerably more cost effective. In addition to this, the system is user-friendly.
As the system is extremely flexible, it has been constantly updated to meet changes in handling procedures, and during 2010 a major update of shipping and preform handling will be implemented.
Reliable millimetre precision, which is particularly important for pallet stacking, is maintained throughout the whole handling in the warehouse, ensuring enhanced personal safety and minimised product damage. The vehicles can lift pallets of more than 1000 kg up to the required five metres.
The whole storage process is automated by the LGVs, from pick up at the end of the production lines to the gravity racks and floor storage of the warehouse. Pallets are also retrieved from the warehouse and delivered either at the picking area, where prepared pallets are collected further on or directly to the shipping area.
The LGVs also handle the regular supply of empty pallets and other consumables from an infeed conveyor system, linking a manually handled outdoor storage area to the automated warehouse, and preforms from single racks to the production lines. This means that the goods types have quite different properties with pallet weights ranging from 100 to 1000 kg.
The LGVs are electrically powered. To compensate for their quiet nature, they emit a signal to notify people in its immediate surroundings.
Battery exchange is completely automatic. When the battery is running low, the LGV goes to the charging station, where the system master indicates which slot to approach to leave the discharged battery, and from which to retrieve a new, fully charged, one. The LGV has a smaller battery which provides the power necessary to move between the slots without the main battery. This procedure typically takes only a couple of minutes, after which the vehicle returns to work for another 10-12 hours.
For client specific reasons the WMS system is a shared responsibility between Carlsberg and Elettric 80.
As an extra service to Carlsberg, Elettric 80 will provide embedded engineering service at the Falkenberg plant. The engineer will service the LGV fleet to ensure maximum efficiency is maintained, and support Carlsberg operators when required.
About Elettric 80:
Founded in 1980 and headquartered in Viano, Italy, Elettric 80 is a global provider of end-of-line automation solutions which increase operational profitability and efficiency put simply its technology helps companies cut cost and move product out of the warehouse in a fast and effective manner.
Due to years of experience, Elettric 80 understands the automation and storage handling challenges faced by different businesses and has subsequently developed a systematic approach which is proven and underpinned by continuous investment in research and development.
Above all, Elettric 80 values its relationship with its customers. It is committed to offering high value consultancy and supplying solutions which are flexible, durable and provide a good return on investment.
Its proposition is based on Freeway - a highly flexible and scalable material handling system which utilises palletising robots, Laser Guided Vehicles (LGVs), high speed wrappers (Silkworm) and a pallet control system. The entire process is managed centrally by a state-of-the-art Warehouse Management System (WMS).
Elettric 80 has subsidiaries in the United States, United Kingdom, Sweden, Australia and Poland, and is therefore able to offer customers local expertise coupled with international insight. The group has 320 employees and the annual turnover is 75 million euro.
Carlsberg Sverige (Sweden) is Swedens largest brewery, and the company develops, produces and market beer, soft drinks and mineral water. Marketed brands are Carlsberg, Falcon, Pripps Bl, Pepsi, Ramlsa, Fanta, Festis, Schweppes and more.
Carlsberg Sverige is a part of the international Carlsberg Breweries group, which was founded in 1847 and is present in 40 countries worldwide.
The brewery in Falkenberg is the largest Swedish Carlsberg plant, producing beer and soft drinks. At Ramlsa, known since hundreds of years for its health-bringing spring, natural mineral water is bottled, both still and sparkling. It is also available in many different, non sweetened, flavours, which have become increasingly popular in the Swedish market in the last decade.
The company has 1200 employees, and the turnover of 2007 exceeded 3.1 billion SEK.