Wincanton was keen to update the legacy warehouse system at Britvic’s national distribution centre in Lutterworth, but instead of overhauling the whole system it consulted Savoye which suggested several upgrades.
Britvic’s high bay storage area is served by 17 individual cranes, originally controlled by two programmable logic controllers (PLCs), working in tandem with each crane’s individual Siemens S5 controller.
However, the company realised a more bespoke system would create greater operational efficiency.
Chris Dockree, general manager for Wincanton, explains: “While the original system worked well, with the advancement in PLC technology, we realised that by installing individual control systems for each crane, in this case Siemens S7s, we could more closely monitor crane performance, without the need to shut half the operation down should repairs or planned maintenance be needed.”
An ongoing human-machine interface project has also been implemented by Savoye, meaning engineers no longer have to leave the central control room to visit the location of a problem. “Although this was a relatively small project, it has really paid dividends by speeding up repair time and improving system efficiency,” says Russell Jesson, systems support engineer. A talking
HMI system has been introduced.
Since making the retrospective upgrades, Britvic has seen a boost in performance and accumulation times have been reduced by 50 per cent.