Lion Australia has future-proofed supply chain and manufacturing operations at its Tooheys Brewery in Lidcombe, NSW, with Dematic Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs).
The Tooheys facility brews up to 300 million litres of beer per year and produces up to 120,000 cartons of product per day, which is equivalent to 2 million litres per day. With the beverages supply chain running on a 24/7 cycle, Lion’s core motivation for streamlining supply chain and manufacturing operations with AGVs was to help the company meet the needs of its consumers, whilst also looking after its own employees by providing a safe and well-managed workplace.
“The implementation of AGVs was part of a widespread initiative to optimise operations within the Tooheys Brewery and across the entire business,” says Tim Symonds, packaging manager at Tooheys.
“While the number of products we make across our beer business continues to grow, we needed a definitive way to improve our productivity to keep up with demand. To achieve this, we invested in AGV technology as a way to better deliver services to our core assets – our people, brands, production facilities and suppliers – and to generate better value for our customers,” says Symonds.
“The AGVs have helped give us real dependability for our end of the line process. By deploying Dematic’s AGVs, we are able to work within an area of operations that was once problematic – the transportation of pallets from palletising to despatch. With the AGVs, we know that they are reliable, and they have given us the confidence that our products are accurately and safely delivered to the end consumer with ease.”
Since implementation, the AGV solution has supported Lion to provide a consistent measurement of product picking time, as well as eliminate any wastage, inaccuracies or mistakes made by human error throughout all phases of the product picking process.
Additionally, the AGV solution has enabled Lion to introduce a predictable logistics strategy. This has allowed Lion to gain insights into the number of vehicles in action within the warehouse, and how many pallets can be produced per day, per, shift, and per year – as opposed to a manual forklift environment which can create unpredictable outcomes such as injuries and staff availability.
“Using AGVs greatly improves reliability, as they are capable of working non-stop, 24/7, every day of the year, thereby streamlining operations to deliver a return on investment in under two years,” says Tony Raggio, general manager of Sales, AGVs, Dematic.
“The deployment of AGVs at the Tooheys Brewery has enabled Lion to improve the efficiency, productivity and accuracy of its operations, thus minimising mistakes, product damage and workplace accidents, which additionally provides significant improvements to occupational health and safety standards.”
Following the successful of the Dematic AGVs at the Tooheys Brewery in Lidcombe, and the operational benefits and improved throughput already achieved, Lion will look to deploy more AGVs at other breweries across Australia in the near future.