A new fully automated purpose-built distribution centre, powered by state-of-the-art technology, including driverless forklifts, has recently opened in Truganina in Melbourne’s west. Built by Toll for Mars Wrigley Australia, the warehouse, which is bigger than two MCG’s, uses 17 Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs) to manage most of the workload.
The AGVs interface with the existing warehouse management system to track product flow from production to storage and all the way through to dispatch. One of the first of its kind in Australia, the new centre can house 50,000 pallets, holding the equivalent of more than 700 million MARS bars.
Toll Global Logistics President Peter Stokes said the new centre is the future of supply chain and logistics.
“The technology used in this new warehouse has multiple benefits, including automating traditionally manual activity to boost productivity significantly. In addition, the automation creates a safer workplace and minimises mistakes which can lead to damaged products, providing a better outcome for our customer and ensuring products arrive on supermarket shelves on time and in peak condition,” Mr Stokes said.
Chris Georgiou, Supply Chain Director for Mars Wrigley Australia, added, “The distribution centre is a core pillar of our business strategy, improving the safety, quality, service and cost metrics of our operations.
The introduction of smart technology and automation will support our growth ambitions and underpin our Supply Chain transformation.”
Tony Raggio, General Manager Sales for Dematic, says the AGVs receive all the required data to carry out their automated operations from the warehouse management system. All the tasks for inbound and outbound pallets movements are then carried out without any manual intervention.
“The robust design of our AGVs means they can withstand the typically challenging environment of a warehouse, all whilst providing a 360° safety field of protection with automatic sensors to detect any obstruction. This enables it to co-work with operators and any other warehouse machinery or vehicles,” Raggio said.
The new warehouse is located in Truganina, offering key access points to major infrastructure routes to the Port of Melbourne, regional Victoria and interstate transport routes.
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