A new fully automated distribution centre (DC) built by Toll for confectionary company Mars has opened in Melbourne’s west.
The Truganina facility uses 17 automated guided vehicles (AGVs) to manage most of the workload.
The AGVs interface with the existing warehouse management system to track product flow from production and storage to dispatch.
The new centre can house 50,000 pallets, holding the equivalent of more than 700 million MARS bars.
The location offers key access points to major infrastructure routes to the Port of Melbourne, regional Victoria and interstate transport routes.
Peter Stokes, Toll Global Logistics President, says automating traditionally manual activity will boost productivity.
“The automation creates a safer workplace and minimises mistakes which can lead to damaged products, providing a better outcome for our customer and ensuring products arrive on supermarket shelves on time and in peak condition,” Peter says.
Chris Georgiou, Supply Chain Director for Mars Wrigley Australia, says the new DC is a core pillar of its business strategy.
“The introduction of smart technology and automation will support our growth ambitions and underpin our Supply Chain transformation,” he says.
Tony Raggio, General Manager Sales for Dematic says the AGVs receive the required data for automated operations from the warehouse management system.
All the tasks for inbound and outbound pallets movements are then carried out without manual intervention.
“The robust design of our AGVs means they can withstand the typically challenging environment of a warehouse, all whilst providing a 360° safety field of protection with automatic sensors to detect any obstruction,” Tony says.