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FKI Logistex installs fully-automated warehouse for Coca-Cola enterprises

On time and on budget, advanced new Edmonton materials handling facility provides major operating and cost saving benefits

Improved throughput, operating efficiencies and stock management, together with significant cost savings, are just some of the major benefits provided by a newly-built, fully-automated warehouse, opened recently by Coca-Cola Enterprises Limited (CCE) and designed, manufactured and installed by FKI Logistex® – a global leader in integrated materials handling solutions.

Handed over by FKI Logistex on time and on budget, this sophisticated facility provides on-site storage for the first time at CCE's Edmonton production unit, eliminating expensive double-handling operations when shipping stock off-site to local warehouses. Housing 25,224 pallet locations, and now the most modern of the six UK-based warehouse and distribution centres operated by CCE, the unit is designed to accommodate future expansion of the factory in order to meet sales growth forecasts.

Linked to five bottling production lines, handling primarily 500-ml and 2-litre plastic bottles of soft drinks for CCE customers throughout London and the South of England, the new warehouse can receive 200 pallets and despatch 300 pallets every hour. Interfaced to the CCE host WMS, the Logistex Warehouse System handles every movement from receipt to despatch.

Following CCE's philosophy of 'never stopping production', FKI Logistex has employed its robust and well-proven handling technologies, plus testing and simulation, to meet targets of 98.5 per cent to 100 per cent full system availability and 65 per cent throughput even when 'down'. The ultra-resilient overall design avoids risk of single failure points.

Jeff Lamb, MHE Consultant, Coca-Cola Enterprises, says: “Edmonton was a stockless site, with all production transported immediately to two local warehouses. This was both inefficient and a serious barrier to expansion. After a competitive tender process, FKI Logistex was chosen to design, supply and integrate the handling systems needed for this vital expansion. This built upon a successful partnership with FKI Logistex established on a previous automated warehouse project in Antwerp.

“Apart from having demonstrated an ability to fully understand and meet CCE's demanding requirements with simple yet functional solutions, the price was highly competitive. Another key offering from FKI Logistex was its ability to produce a system able to handle 'retail-ready' plastic pallets which avoid slave pallets.

Jeff continues: “Surrounded by roads on all sides, the physical constraints of the site presented a unique challenge involving the construction of a new high-bay building only 1.5 metres from the boundary. Demolition and construction phasing were critical but production was maintained throughout the two-year build. FKI Logistex provided a strong professional project team, working closely and effectively with project managers Faithful + Gould and builders John Sisk & Sons. The warehouse was fully operational in under three months from hand-over by the company.”

The 33-metre clad rack building features 12 aisles with fully-automated FKI Logistex storage and retrieval systems, each incorporating 32-metre high, double-deep pallet-handling cranes. Five automated elevator units connect the production lines to a high-level pallet system.

Heavy-duty conveyor systems are bespoke for CHEP and MU pallets. Handling pallet types including GKN's and 2 x 800 x 600 plastic merchandisable units, a twin-level shuttle system automatically sorts pallets to customer loads. The pallet-handling systems include four transfer cars and five vertical transfer devices. Incorporating pre-despatch, double-tier gravity lane marshalling, the warehouse has close-coupled loading bays for ultra-fast vehicle turnaround. Apart from integrating all materials handling systems, FKI Logistex was responsible for the supply of mezzanine floors, sprinklers and wall and roof cladding.

For sales or marketing information, contact Jackie Rutter, European Marketing Manager, FKI Logistex, tel: +44 (0) 1536 480611 e-mail: jackie.rutter@eu.fkilogistex.com

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