Asahi introduces automation at its Heathwood DC

Dematic has helped Asahi Beverages to successfully increase productivity by 250 per cent with the installation of an Automated Storage and Retrieval System (ASRS) in its new Heathwood DC.
The ASRS has improved the efficiency of warehouse operations, reduces manual processes and enables Asahi to better service its customers.
Asahi Beverages has a number of distribution centres (DCs) located across Australia. Previously in Brisbane, Asahi operated across multiple locations and used manual forklifts for block stacking, which they found came with a lot of disadvantages and challenges.
“We previously had a very labour intensive system in place, with every truck that came in having to be unloaded by a forklift, we then had to receive the paperwork manually, check the pallets manually, move the pallets into the storage location and then do all that in reverse to pick them,” Nathan Lucinsky, Heathwood DC Manager, Asahi said.
In making the decision to consolidate its sites into one DC and upgrade to an automated warehouse solution, Asahi wanted to achieve a number of benefits, including reducing costs, improving efficiency and productivity, and being able to better meet the needs of its customers.
The high bay racking at Asahi Heathwood DC is 13 levels high, 34 bays deep, and the ASRS extends to six pallet positions deep on either side of the six cranes, accessed by satellite carts. In total there are approximately 31,500 pallet storage positions.
“After assessing Asahi’s warehouse requirements, we knew that the best solution for them was the six-deep satellite ASRS. The ASRS we built for Asahi uses Dematic’s newest and fastest crane, the 1200 H1. This is also the tallest satellite system we have built in Australia,” Dominic Figliano, Project Manager, Dematic said.
“An automated system such as this eliminates a lot of the manual handling of pallets,” said Dominic. “This not only creates efficiencies and a high productivity boost of 250% for the customer, but also increases safety for workers in not having as many forklifts.”
In a DC such as Asahi’s Heathwood site, each manual touch of a pallet represents a cost to the business and comes with the risk of human error.
“We’ve now automated our warehouse processes and only use manual processes where it makes sense,” added Nathan. “In fact, most of our pallets won’t be touched by a human until they get to our customer DC.”
A key factor in Asahi’s decision-making process when looking for a new provider was working with a company that understood the local market. Asahi chose Dematic, as it has a demonstrated capability in delivering similar projects within Australia.
In addition to the ASRS, Dematic integrated third party equipment including the skate docks, stretch wrapper machine, label applicators, and a pallet inverter.

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