HBWH for storage and shipping of finished products pallets

The company
Spendrups Bryggeri AB is a family-owned Swedish
brewery, established in 1897. Today, it is one of the
leading breweries in Sweden. In addition to their ownbranded
beverages, the company is also authorized
distributor for a large number of beverages from other
brands, such as beers, cider, soft drinks, fruit juices,
wine, liqueurs and coffee. Among these strong brands
we can mention: Norrlands Guld, Mariestads, Heineken,
Loka, Schweppes, El Coto, Gallo and Bergstrands Coffee.
Spendrups is actually one of the leading suppliers to
Systembolaget, the sole chain of stores authorized to sell
alcoholic beverages in Sweden.

Problems and objectives
The warehouse designed by System Logistics is located
in Grängesberg, in the North of Sweden, in the largest
of the 4 Spendrups’ Swedish plants. Spendrups’ need
was to combine the storage, order preparation and
product distribution phases so that they could be shared
for processing both their own brand products and the
subcontracted ones. Several challenges have been faced
to develop a solution: coordinate and manage storage,
order preparation and shipment of a high flow of goods
featuring several different brands; satisfy the various
specific requirements previously agreed with the different
types of customers relating to order and shipment processing; ensure reduced processing and
reaction timeframes of the logistic system; obtain
economic benefits compared to the existing organization,
at the same time balancing the investment costs with the
operating costs; ensure working conditions comparable
to the best Northern European standards; design and
implement an effective link with the new area hosting
the logistic site of Grängesberg, as a high traffic public
road and a railway separate it from the production site in
the existing factory; organize the start-up of the new site
without affecting the normal logistic activity.

The solution and the results achieved
The automated vertical warehouse designed for
Spendrups features 45,000 pallet slots and is capable
of simultaneously handling 300 pallets per hour coming
from the factory production linked via the bridge, 50
pallets per hour from the external production warehouses
and 400 pallets per hour to the shipment stations, which
include 55% of mixed pallets prepared for picking.
The SKUs (loading units) handled by the system are
800x1200 wood and plastic Europallets and 800x600
half-size pallets. The storage section consists of a singledepth
self-supporting shelving, where twelve 36 metre
high, bi-pallet, two-column stacker cranes slide along
a 130 metre long aisle. Each stacker crane carries two
pallets at a time.
Next to the HBW, in a 7.800 sqm area, man-to-goods
picking is performed. Class A references (very fast
moving), are handled on gravity roller conveyors in
fixed picking bays (each dedicated to a single reference
code), and are fed by rectilinear shuttles with ARP system
(Automatically Replenished Picking) from the HBW.
Slow or very slow moving references (Class B and C) are
deposited to a manual shelving warehouse, which follows
the traditional concept of stock lowering.
In this second case, refilling is manually managed by the
operator starting from the pallet sent by the HBW to
replenish stocks. Each picking operator executes the order
given by the management system using radio-frequency
controlled terminals, following optimized routes through
the manual picking area.
The completed mixed pallets are brought back by the
operators via mechanically-operated bays., they are read
by the system, then wrapped and labelled and finally
delivered to the HBW. This is actually the meeting point
for all the pallets belonging to the same shipment (full
and mixed pallets).
The shipping system follows the just in time criterion: all
the products are kept in the warehouse and are retrieved
only when the truck is in position at the loading platform.
The bay is used as a dynamic buffer which progressively
retrieves the pallets from the HBW, so as not to occupy
the shipment areas when not necessary, in the event that,
for example, the truck is late. This way, the total surface
of the loading platform is as small as necessary and truck
loading efficiency is maximized.