Australia’s leading confectionery manufacturer, Cadbury Schweppes, recently carried out a major upgrade of its national distribution centre (DC) in Melbourne, resulting in a 20% productivity improvement to the Automated Storage and Retrieval System (ASRS) in its warehouse – while at the same time maintaining full distribution capability. This was achieved by Cadbury Schweppes and Dematic working closely together to ensure minimal disruption to operations during the three-and-a-half week upgrade.
After 13 years of operation, Cadbury Schweppes’ Automated Storage and Retrieval System (ASRS), while functioning reliably, incorporated obsolete 1990s-era software and control systems, posing some risk in terms of productivity, reliability and long term supportability.
However, with the DC being an integral component of Cadbury Schweppes’ supply chain, it couldn’t just close the facility down in order to upgrade or refurbish the cranes.
Cadbury Schweppes established a project team to investigate ways in which the DC’s warehouse systems and procedures could be upgraded without impacting day-to-day operations. Dematic was commissioned to survey the DC and make recommendations on the upgrades required.
Cadbury Schweppes’ Ringwood DC stores “bar line” products manufactured in an adjoining facility. It also handles the import, storage and distribution of other products manufactured in Victoria, Tasmania, New Zealand and Europe.
The DC supplies wholesale customers in Australia and New Zealand, including the distribution centers of major retailers, and also exports to Asia.
The DC operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week and, in months leading up to peak periods such as Easter and Christmas, dispatches over 30,000 pallets a month – that’s 1.7 million cartons of confectionery!
The DC has a storage capacity of 36,000 pallets, comprising:
- A manual DC using conventional rack and forklifts
- An automated DC with four ASRS cranes
- Multi-tiered order picking modules for full-case picking
The upgrade involved refurbishing and upgrading four ASRS cranes, as well as upgrading and modernizing the DC’s conveyor and sortation system.