Tuesday 21st Nov 2017 - Logistics Manager

Robotic picking system for Carlsberg distributor

A Carlsberg distributor is to install a Cimcorp vison-enabled robotic dolly picking system at its facility in Finland to replace a manual process for picking dolly loads which account of some 30 per cent of its deliveries.

Sinebrychoff, which is based in Kerava, distributes beers, ciders, soft drinks, energy drinks and bottled water directly to retailers across Finland.

The Cimcorp system will handle material flow from the high-bay warehouse to the loading docks and order fulfilment for beverages supplied to customers when operations start at the beginning of 2018.

Sinebrychoff vice president of supply chain Pasi Lehtinen said: “This is a significant investment for us. We have chosen Cimcorp due to the flexibility and scalability of its automation, which will enable us to adapt to market changes and accommodate business growth.”

Sinebrychoff requires the automation to be sufficiently flexible to handle its wide portfolio of products – including beverages in bottles and cans in various pack formats and sizes – as well as being adaptable to its evolving business needs.

Kimmo Sormunen, automation manager at Sinebrychoff, said, “Customer orders vary from whole truckloads to just a few cases, so the range of order units includes pallets, dollies (wheeled quarter pallets), mini-dollies, single cases and kegs. The Cimcorp solution will be able to handle an unlimited number of SKUs and cater for new SKUs, such as seasonal products, as well as volume increases. The system will be fully automatic, with beverages not being touched by human hand until they are loaded into delivery vehicles.”

Pallets of beverages will be transported from the existing high-bay warehouse by conveyor to the dispatch area, where a vision system will enable the products to be unloaded by universal robots and deposited on dollies or mini-dollies. After being automatically shrink-wrapped, the loads will be stored by gantry robots and then picked by these overhead robots in line with customer orders. After picking, the dollies/mini-dollies will be automatically labelled before being transported to the loading area by Sinebrychoff’s existing laser-guided vehicle system.

“Cimcorp’s dispatch solution is proven and this system has been carefully designed, with a clear and simple layout,” said Sormunen. “The energy efficiency of the robots is another important benefit for us.” Cimcorp will also supply its warehouse control system, which will receive information about orders, stock and routes from Sinebrychoff’s warehouse management system to manage the material flow and order picking.