Automated Warehouse System at the Coca Cola Bottling Production Plant

Dematic partners with Coca Cola to create an automated warehouse system at the Coca Cola Cincinnati bottling production plant. 

How it works

The automated warehouse stores product by removing palletized loads from the end of the bottling line with Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs) that transport the loads to one of eight pallet rotators.

The load rotator changes the orientation of the pallet 90 degrees prior to induction into the automated storage and retrieval system (AS/RS) where the storage and retrieval machine (SRM) picks up the pallets and places them into storage location in the rack structure.

Warehouse Management System (WMS) software manages orders and selects which pallets fulfill order requirements. There are two different ways in which pallets are processed through the system:

  • The SRM retrieves a pallet from a storage location in the rack structure and transports it to a load rotator where an AGV pick it up and takes it to the shipping dock where it is placed on a delivery stand. A fork truck then loads the pallet onto a delivery truck.
  • The SRM retrieves a pallet from a storage location in the rack structure, and the pallet is transported up to a mezzanine level where mixed pallets are prepared. There are two methods:
    • The SRM brings the pallet to stands located at the end of each aisle on the mezzanine level.
    • The SRM brings the pallet to a storage location in the rack structure on the mezzanine level that serve as gravity fed pick faces.

Pallets deposited on the mezzanine level are used to pick to pick product to build mixed pallets and less than full pallets. Completed mixed pallets are transported to the shipping dock by an elevator.

Full-time on-site maintenance

Coca-Cola contracted Dematic for full-time, on-site equipment maintenance for its Cincinnati facility, which provides Coca-Cola a direct link to the full suite of Dematic customer support resources. A full maintenance crew of trained Dematic technicians handle planned and unplanned maintenance for the system. The technicians perform preventative maintenance and manage spare parts inventories.

This facility operates 365 days per year, 24 hours per day, and this full-service option ensures the highest possible system reliability. The contract at Coca-Cola includes an uptime performance guarantee, and uptime has averaged 99.01% to date.

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