Linfox Arnott’s.Arnott’s, Linfox, Dexion: a winning partnership.
“Dexion worked closely with Linfox when designing the system, determining what the best methodologies were to manage the product, to track, sort and allocate it.”Arnott’s Biscuits was established in 1865, adopt a new model whereby orders of fulland today operates three manufacturing truck load quantities are delivered directlysites in Australia: Arnott’s Huntingwood in to the customers’ central warehouses. TheSydney; Arnott’s Marleston in Adelaide; customer then undertakes the secondaryand Arnott’s Virginia in Brisbane, the latter transport task of delivering individual storeof which was officially opened in 1988 after orders from their own DC’s.relocating from Coronation Drive in Milton. The new Virginia FinishedArnott’s products have achieved a status Goods DC:with Australian consumers that mostbrands can only dream of, and the companyrivals Vegemite for the title of the best- System design, installationknown and loved Australian brands of all and commissioning.times. The biscuits, including Tim Tam, In order to facilitate the new distributionShapes, Mint Slice, SAO, Vita-Weat, model and consolidate its storage ofSalada and Tiny Teddy are sought out by finished goods, Arnott’s commissionedmillions of consumers each day, and thus Linfox to construct a new warehousestock-outs are simply not allowable. adjacent to its Virginia plant that would beUntil recently, products have been shuttled able to receive, palletise and store finishedfrom the factories to various smaller product directly from the plant. Dexion worked closely with Linfox when designingdistribution centres, from where Arnott’s the system, determining what the bestmany familiar red vans have been plying methodologies were to manage the product,the route trade, delivering the products to track, sort and allocate it.direct to stores. In 2004, however, thecompany undertook a strategic review of World’s best practice was adopted toits distribution operations and decided to minimise the impact on production,Dexion Case Study – Linfox Arnott’s
“Currently Arnott’s is sending up to 3,900 cartons per hour to the system, so the design provides plenty of expansion to production capacity.”and ‘best-of-breed’ technology has been What makes this system outstanding is theimplemented throughout the facility. degree of innovation, the unique conceptsThis includes: implemented here, the state-of-the-art techniques used, their contribution to• GW conveyors and high-speed T sorting equipment. Linfox and Arnott’s, as well as the logistic industry as a whole.• ighly innovative post-sort accumulating H conveyors leading to the palletising equipment. Key features include:• our high-speed palletising robots that F automatically stack the cartons. 1. elt transportation conveyors for B quietness and increased reliability.• he latest four-axis twin servo grippers T able to pick multiple cartons in one pick. 2. imited-line-pressure accumulation L• n automated high-speed stretch A conveyors, minimise carton impact wrapper and labeller. pressures reducing product damage associated with conveying.• his high-performance application, T capable of handling 6,000 cartons an 3. bility to raise or lower the speed of the A hour, is designed to handle future system to reduce wear and tear on production and to be able to recover components and minimise energy costs. quickly after stoppages. 4. our-axis twin servo grippers which FCurrently Arnott’s is sending up to 3,900cartons per hour to the system, so the enable more cartons to be palletised indesign provides plenty of expansion to one cycle, reducing speeds and energyproduction capacity. usage.Dexion Case Study – Linfox Arnott’s
“With this system, Dexion has helped Linfox demonstrate that, by integrating further up and right into Arnott’s supply chain, production line throughput blockages have been virtually eliminated and much-needed expansion capacity has been made available to Arnott’s for other lines.”5. arameter-driven wrap patterns by P of Arnott’s four separate sites in and In the distribution centre the palletising A recirculating conveyor loop is provided SKU, allowing Linfox to minimise the around Brisbane. comprises three main areas: after the shoe sorter so that cartons amount of wrap needed for export 1. Carton conveying and sorting. waiting to be allocated a lane or, if the The new facility is 13,600 sq in size, designated pallets, compared to those containing 14,400 pallet positions featuring required sort lane is full, can re-circulate requiring higher stability for long- 2. Robot palletising, consisting of four single and double configurations of Dexion until ready to be diverted. robots, each capable of servicing distance transportation. selective racking. Of these, 400 pallet different product types. Should the amount of recirculationWith this system, Dexion has helped Linfox positions are in an air-conditioned section, 3. Pallet conveyors. increase to the point where the maindemonstrate that, by integrating further up which is kept at a constant chilled 18°C to 22°C range. in-feed from product is blocked, thenand right into Arnott’s supply chain, Carton in-feed and sortation. re-circulating product will be sent to aproduction line throughput blockages have Arnott’s manufactures 100 different When the cartons enter the distribution manual palletising/reject lane.been virtually eliminated and much-needed product lines in the Virginia bakery next centre they are scanned. This scanner isexpansion capacity has been made door, which are delivered across the Four palletising robots are at the end of used as the audit point, to transfer theavailable to Arnott’s for other lines. air bridge to the distribution centre inventory from the factory to the Linfox the sort lanes, with each robot able to 24 hours-a-day, five and six days per week. system. handle three different palletising positions.By adopting the latest technology andautomation, Linfox has been able to deliver Both Linfox and Arnott’s scan cartons The carton in-feed conveyor, barcode In addition, because the pickup head ofto very tight and rigorous key performance either side of the airbridge. The Linfox scanner, shoe sorter and recirculation loop the palletising robots can pickup multipleindicators (KPIs) with product loss due to scanner is connected to the Dexion are all mounted above floor level enabling cartons, up to half a layer at a time, the enddamage in palletising markedly reduced. Real-time Distribution System (RDS). This working areas underneath. of the sort lane is built with right-angled provides a preview of products coming The cartons then pass to a 13-way transfers to assemble the required numberLinfox Virginia: into the distribution centre, allowing RDS shoe-sorter, where they are sorted by of cartons, consistent with the pallet-build to use this data to dynamically allocate product to feed both the automated schedule for that product. products to the palletising lanes. palletising robots and any manual palletisingThe system in detail. This is used to determine when a palletising positions. Allocation of products to the sort RDS controls this function, andBefore constructing the purpose-built site lane can be closed for a product and the lanes is controlled by the RDS, based on communicates to the palletiser when anin Virginia, Linfox was operating on behalf lane reallocated. parameters of run size and throughput rate. assembly is ready for pickup.Dexion Case Study – Linfox Arnott’s
“The RDS downloads information on what product is on the accumulation line and the robot software then determines the configurations of the pallet.”Palletising robot optimisation. When a pallet is full RDS controls theThe system retains a table of pallet release of the full pallet and the loading ofconfigurations for each product, covering a new empty pallet. If for any reason, thesuch specifications as carton assembly pallet build cannot be completed, RDSpattern, number of layers, carton height, instructs the robot to pickup and placeand total number of cartons for a full pallet. whatever cartons are left on the pallet and then release the partially completed pallet.The RDS downloads information on whatproduct is on the accumulation line and The installation uses four of the latestthe robot software then determines the Motoman EPL300 palletising robots fromconfigurations of the pallet. This is Robotic Automation. These robots featuredownloaded each time a new product is the latest in technology, having the largestallocated to a sort lane, which equates to working envelopes in the world and one ofa palletising position. A manual allocation the fastest cycle times available for aor reallocation facility provided through the palletiser in their class.RDS Visual ensures robot capacities are In this application, Linfox has opted fornot exceeded. Motoman’s four-axis servo type grippers,The RDS controls the assembly of cartons which are able to handle the full Arnott’sto be picked up by the robot head, and product range. In addition, operators cancommunicates to the robot when the configure a number of palletising variablesassembly is ready for pickup. In turn the such as carton dimensions, gripperrobots communicate with RDS requesting allowances, robot speeds, and all while dispenser adjacent to the robot shuttle shuttle picks up empty pallets from thecartons in the appropriate configurations. transferring cartons to the pallet. in-feed assembly, where they are arranged dispenser. Having delivered an emptyIt also keeps a count of cartons picked up in stacks. Pallet stacks are loaded onto pallet, the shuttle will always retrieveand placed by the robot for each of the Pallet handling system. the empty pallet in-feed conveyor by another empty pallet from the dispenserthree palletising positions. Empty pallets are transported to a pallet forklift. An automatic empty pallet in-feed and return to the home position.Dexion Case Study – Linfox Arnott’s
“The GUI is web enabled, so it can be used by supervisory staff to monitor conveyor system performance, investigate errors, and to reset alarms.”The full pallet outfeed shuttle, having picked only very lightly wrap the pallet to hold itup a full pallet, delivers it to one of two together, because that wrap will beoutfeed points. One is for full pallets and coming off and the cartons hand-stackedthe other for part pallets and reject pallets. into containers. There are also furtherAgain, RDS co-ordinates and controls both settings available of which Linfox use twoshuttles’ movements in conjunction with – one for a product that needs a very tightreleasing pallets from the robot palletisers. wrap, and one for normal.Since RDS monitors all functions of the After the wrapper the pallet passes to therobot palletisers, it is able to predict the label printer applicators, of which there arerelease of a full pallet and have the shuttles two: one on each opposite side of the pallet.in position to do the changeover. RDS generates the SSCC pallet label and controls the action of the printer-applicators.Processing after palletisation. Wrapped and labelled pallets are finallyRDS keeps the carton count and tracks unloaded from the conveyor via forkliftthe pallets leaving the palletisers. When a – with all operation from then on managedpallet is unloaded from the output shuttle via Linfox’s SAP warehouse managementit is moved to be stretch wrapped, and a system (WMS).scanner verifies the product on the pallet. Any incomplete pallets released from theThe stretch-wrapper is a rotating head palletisers are automatically sent to thetype, where the wrapping head rotates reject line with the RDS knowing the palletaround a stationary pallet and is slowly is incomplete. No wrapping, printing or Manual palletising. and applying the labels. The carton countraised to accommodate the pallet height. checking is done and the pallet passes Cartons sent down the manual sort lane of is then entered so that pallet inventory isThe stretch wrap machines have a degree straight to reject. All actions relating to less the shoe sorter are placed on pallets by updated correctly – all functions executedof inbuilt intelligence. For example, if the than full pallets loads are managed via product. The operator then finalises the on the WMS.pallet is being prepared for export it will SAP WMS. pallet by stretch wrapping, and printingDexion Case Study – Linfox Arnott’s
“When an order is picked, to reduce the incidence of errors, the Linfox system ensures that a cycle count is conducted after the product is picked.”Dexion RDS features. stop and resume many parts of the customer requirements are adhered to. move on. If the operator counts incorrectly,Dexion’s control system provides a operation. Conveyor graphics and control Product is never released until instructed the system allows a second attempt. If theweb-based ‘visualisation tool’ providing of the system are via a touch screen panel by Arnott’s and if any product is restricted, count is incorrect a supervisor is called tothe following functionality: situated on the operator’s platform. the system blocks the pallets. These check the pallet. systems are in place to ensure the product• graphical representation of the sorter A It might be that an extra carton was Put-away in the warehouse. remains in peak condition and Arnott’s QA and infeed/outfeed conveyors. incorrectly placed in a previous order and Each pallet has had two SSCC labels rules are adhered to. the carton is found there. The system also• Stop and start controls. applied, used from the point of pick-up, The Linfox distribution centre is driven by identifies those pickers who constantly• Conveyor status. where the forklift operator picks up the a wireless Radio Frequency (RF) system make errors, so they can be moved to pallet and scans the labels. These labels running under SAP. another area of the operation.• Jam alarms. are used right through to the movements within clients’ distribution centres. Over a period of three to four weeks, every• Lane full status for each outfeed lane. Managing stock in the warehouse. position within the warehouse is counted,• E-stop notification. Once the SSCC is scanned, the Linfox When an order is picked, to reduce the with the pick face counted on average warehouse management system (WMS) incidence of errors, the Linfox system every day.• Scan status. determines where the pallets are to be ensures that a cycle count is conducted• Critical PE cell status. stored and Arnott’s inventory is updated. after the product is picked. The picker is Fastest moving product is placed on the directed to a pallet via the RF unit, the• Alarm history. lower parts of the rack, medium in the location is scanned to ensure it is theDexion Graphic User Interface (GUI) facility. centre, and the slowest in the top positions. correct location and the required number of cartons are picked.The GUI is web enabled, so it can be used SAP WMS also places products for exportby supervisory staff to monitor conveyor in a specific section of the warehouse, Linfox adopts a ‘Keep It Simple’ (KIS)system performance, investigate errors, while part pallets are guided to areas approach to picking, under which theand to reset alarms. The panel-view where they’ll be used according to rules picking operator will count the layers andcontrol system shows the system status in set up by Linfox and Arnott’s. The system the cartons remaining, and then if they’vereal time and can be used to suspend, also ensures that correct date rotation and got it correct the system allows them toDexion Case Study – Linfox Arnott’s