Heusenstamm, August 7, 2020 – Since 2007, the first Friday in August has been recognised as “International Beer Day” (IBD). In 2019, Germany’s breweries and beer warehouses sold roughly 9.2 billion liters of beer. According to Statista, the per capita consumption of beer in Germany within the last year is almost 99.7 liters. The popular beverage usually reaches private households in standard glass bottles. And each of them must be securely closed, which is reason enough to take a closer examination of the intralogistics at suppliers. Longtime customer Delmenhorster Kork-Fabrik Arthur Linck GmbH (DKF) has automated its core business of crown cap production, with help from Dematic. With years of experience and numerous commissioned projects, Dematic developed a solution using an automated guided vehicle system (AGV) to make the processes more structured, efficient and reliable. The customer base is 95% breweries.
At the push of a button, AGVs make their way to one of the filling stations to deliver empty containers or pick up full ones. Production takes place in three shifts with an output per machine ranging from 5,000 to 6,000 bottle caps per minute. Every year, DKF produces several billion DKF® crown caps.
With a filling of 330,0000 to 370,000 bottle caps per pallet cage or octabin, each vehicle moves nearly a metric ton from the filling line to the newly installed central station. The loads are then checked, hygienically sealed and labelled before they are transported to their next destination in the full container warehouse in a safe and regulated manner. In rest phases, the vehicle automatically heads off to the automated battery charging stations.
The vehicle navigation is a hybrid; laser-controlled, where reflectors are always accessible to the AGV scanner, and in warehouse via floor magnets since the containers stacked there might prevent the reflectors from being located.
In contrast to the past, these automated material flows now run very smoothly and reliably and are always transparent with machine availability now fully optimised. The company can ably cope with order peaks brought on by the increase in beverage consumption during major sports events such as the European Soccer Championship or the World Cup. Thus, the introduction of long-life AGVs is an efficient and cost-effective alternative; even for midsised companies.
"Our aim with the automation was to achieve an orderly and safe process, which helps eliminate damage to parts of the building, which often occurs during forklift operation. We more than met this goal. We were surprised by the extremely positive customer reaction to our modernisation project, especially since it also has made an important contribution to compliance standards for food, " says shareholder Edgar Linck, a thirdgeneration member of the Linck family, who, along with brother Andreas, manages the company founded back in 1924.
Dematic is an intralogistics innovator that designs, builds and supports intelligent, automated solutions for manufacturing, warehouse and distribution environments for customers that are powering the future of commerce. With engineering centers, manufacturing facilities and service centers located in more than 25 countries, Dematic’s global network of 8,000 employees have helped achieve more than 6,000 worldwide customer installations for some of the world’s leading brands. Headquartered in Atlanta, Dematic is a member of KION Group, a global leader in industrial trucks, supply chain solutions and related services, and a leading provider of warehouse automation.
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