Finland-based Elopak Materials Handling, which currently claims to be the leader in fresh milk handling systems, has just installed a sophisticated automatic order picking system, the final part of a complete state-of-the-art automated handling system, for Skåne Dairies in Malmö, Sweden.
"It is a ground breaking project and a showcase for Elopak Materials Handling," said Elopak Sweden's technical manager Håkan Gustavsson.
Elopak's materials handling involves analysis, planning, installation and control of carton and load carrier filling and handling systems. This includes blanks handling and feeding, automatic empty goods handling, filling room, downstream equipment, chilled bulk storage and management systems.
Gustavsson explained more about the project: "The overall objective of the whole materials handling system at Skåne was to create a streamlined solution for retailers who are constantly looking to save time and costs from handling systems. The system took three years to complete and was built into a working dairy with not one day of production lost due to installation work."
The project at Skåne consisted of the installation of returnable load carrier storage with handling systems for empty roll containers, plastic trays and crates, filling room equipment consisting of two new 1.5 litre Elopak PR-90 filling machines and total rebuild of four old fillers, an automated overhead conveyor systems, tray and crate packers and roll container loaders.
Finally, the cold store automation comprises of automatic grouping of roll containers, four transfer cars delivering filled roll containers, automated storage lanes on two levels and a new fully automated order picking system for filled plastic trays including reloading into roll containers.
This is the first ever system in the dairy industry that customises roll containers, and provides an invaluable service to retailers, the company claims. As one of Sweden's largest supermarket chains, B&W Malmö, stated: "Instead of wasting time stacking, our employees have more time looking after the customer. Heavy lifting has been eliminated, reducing injuries and it is easier to re-stock the sales area - you simply change the roll-containers. We are saving about one hour's stacking a day."
"The Skåne Dairy is now one of the largest and most flexible dairy systems in the world. We were the only company with the skills and the experience to come up with a viable solution to the problems faced by the customer. The Skåne Dairy really does take us forward to a new era for dairy distribution, it makes 'the dairy of the future' a reality," concluded Gustavsson.
Elopak Materials Handling is a part of the Norway-based Elopak Group, and has been supporting Elopak Market Units world wide with key projects for over 20 years.