Saturday 22nd Oct 2016 - Logistics Manager

Whisky galore

Excel Automation has completed all four phases of a contract to upgrade the Chivas Brothers’ palletisation and automatic dispatch facility in Dumbarton. The project, for one of Scotland’s largest bottling plants with storage for over 10,800 palletised loads, is expected to achieve a 50 per cent increase in output.

Phase 1 and 2 involved a major refurbishment of two automatic storage and retrieval systems and associated pallet conveyors, as well as new conveyor systems to improve the flow of palletised product into the warehouse. Excel also totally refurbished eight narrow-aisle stacker cranes.

Phase 3 included eight new production line conveying systems to transport different-sized cartons from the bottling plant into a new palletising plant where they are automatically sorted into pallet profiles. Over 1,000m of Excelveyor 500 belt-driven carton conveyor were installed; and every 600mm section up to the palletising area features a soft-start system that prevents bottles breaking, while achieving the fastest possible cycle speed. The high-level out-feed conveyor system installed for Phase 4 transfers cases from the automated stores through two barcode labellers and onto conveyor lines that remove in-house pallets and replace them with either a slip sheet or one of five types of shipping pallet. Loads are then transferred on a high-speed shuttle car to one of 13 accumulation lanes, at the end of which is a turntable that automatically orientates the pallets to maximise lorry loads. Excel also supplied two automated guided vehicle systems.