Dairy supply chain ramps up 24/7 operation with new technology

Lactalis Australia has ramped up its operations at its Lidcombe Milk Site in NSW due to a new automated guided vehicle (AGV) solution.

“The new AGV solution has successfully helped us to significantly increase productivity at our Lidcombe site, as it allows us to run a faster operation 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” Kristian Brennan, National Logistics Optimisation Manager at Lactalis said.

The AGV solution chosen by Lactalis, Dematic’s Counterbalance Series AGV, manages the transportation of pallets of milk at the Lidcombe site and is capable of lifting loads of up to 1.2 tonnes to a height of six metres.

Lactalis’ Australian operations dates back to the original Pauls milk business which has been running since 1932 and Kristian said one of company’s key goals are to invest in and grow the Australian dairy industry, as well as to promote Australia as a high-quality producer for the Asia Pacific region.

Four AGVs work to retrieve pallets from an inbound conveyer system from production, and then feed the pallets into an order buffer, releasing the pallets at a declined angle onto pallet live storage racking.

They operate in a small space and manage tight traffic at high speeds of up to 1.7 metres per second.

The AGV solution’s accuracy and safety around workers and any obstacles is ensured through sensors and laser scanners that help them navigate with precision.

The AGVs are powered by Lithium Ion batteries and can drive themselves onto charging floor plates at times of inactivity and be fully charged in 2 hours.

Tony Raggio, general manager AGVs at Dematic said the need to optimise productivity and reduce costs in food & beverage supply chains has never been greater.

“We’re excited to see Lactalis Australia has increased its productivity, while also being able to receive a good ROI from its investment in Dematic AGVs,” he said.

locally, Lactalis has 2,500 passionate employees, working closely and constructively with some 500 Australian farmers to produce major dairy goods in the country, including Pauls Milk, Ice Break Iced Coffee, Tamar Valley and Vaalia yoghurt.


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