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BevChain boosts safety and storage with Swisslog automation

Leading beverage distribution specialist, BevChain (a wholly owned subsidiary of Linfox), has further extended its commitment to work smarter for its customers, with the installation of a Swisslog PowerStore automated warehouse shuttle system.

BevChain installed the highly customisable Swisslog PowerStore system at its facility in Auburn, NSW, which is conveniently located adjacent to the brewery of one of its major customers.

“PowerStore is next-generation warehouse automation. It has increased storage utilisation by 55 per cent in the same building footprint, created a safer workplace for our people, and will deliver growth for our customers,” said Linfox president, BevChain, Misha Shliapnikoff.

BevChain delivers tailored beverage supply chain solutions across Australia and New Zealand. It leads the industry with 22 distribution centres across six states, handling more than 2.5 billion serving units annually.

PowerStore is ideally suited to applications seeking to achieve high throughput and optimal space utilisation, in industries such as fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG), e-grocery and pallet warehousing. PowerStore can also operate in a range of environments, from minus 30°C in frozen food storage up to 50°C, and can easily be retrofitted to warehouses with low ceilings or unusual shapes.

Swisslog’s PowerStore solution for BevChain consists of vertical conveyors that accommodate fast and effective pallet movements between levels, RowCarriers that retrieve from and deliver pallets to, transfer stations at the vertical conveyor, and AisleCarriers that use precision lasers to transport RowCarriers between the vertical conveyor and the designated row.

Swisslog has more than 50 years of global experience in the design and implementation of pallet warehouses, and its PowerStore system complements a comprehensive range of highly customisable automation and Industry 4.0 solutions that Swisslog provides to FMCG, food and beverage, logistics, transport, pharmaceutical and warehousing operations globally.

“The new 24/6 facility includes over 30,000 pallet locations, with vertical conveyors transferring pallets to and from one of five levels. It has 20 satellite AisleCarriers and RowCarriers, one in each level of the four quadrants transferring pallets to and from their location. This is all pre-determined by Swisslog’s intelligent SynQ software,” said Shliapnikoff.

“This technology-driven facility is also giving our people the chance to gain new knowledge and skills in a warehouse of the future,” he said. 

Swisslog’s advanced SynQ software is fully integrated with BevChain’s warehouse management system and creates a seamless operation. It ensures full traceability and trackability including batch numbers and visibility on storage and throughput, using automation for receipt despatch.

Swisslog Managing Director, Australia and New Zealand, Francis Meier, says the new PowerStore system provides safety and efficiency benefits to BevChain’s operations. “Replacing manual operations with an automated system increases the accuracy of picking and removes errors, which leads to fewer returns, and greater profitability,” he said.

“The solution has delivered productivity benefits and makes the warehouse safer and quieter. And, because we were converting an existing manual warehouse, our team worked closely with BevChain to ensure the go-live phase was carried out in stages, to minimise the impact during commissioning,” he said.

“The working relationship with BevChain has been outstanding. Swisslog has been involved right from the beginning, in the ideas and design stages, and every step of the way, the two companies have worked together to achieve the best outcomes.”

For more information, please contact Swisslog