• Boosting efficiency: A fifth AGV for Lactalis at Lidcombe
    Boosting efficiency: A fifth AGV for Lactalis at Lidcombe

Lactalis has invested in an additional Dematic AGV to join its fleet of four existing AGVs at its Lidcombe Milk Site in NSW, as the company seeks to boost warehouse-wide efficiency.

The company says that with the addition of a fifth AGV to operations it is now able to expand automation to more areas within the warehouse. All five AGV units will work cohesively together, with the flexibility for each of them to operate within different areas of the warehouse to retrieve products ready for dispatch.

Kristian Brennan, national logistics optimisation manager at Lactalis, said, “This transition into site-wide automated operations with AGVs has helped Lactalis to significantly streamline our operations.

“After already experiencing major improvements to productivity with our initial adoption of Dematic’s AGVs in 2019, this new addition to the fleet will allow us to further automate our operations in both inbound and outbound zones within the warehouse.”

The fleet of AGVs work to retrieve pallets from an inbound conveyer system from production, and then feed the pallets into an order buffer, releasing the pallets at a declined angle onto pallet live storage racking. AGVs are capable of operating 24 hours a day, in both small and large spaces, and managing tight traffic at speeds of up to 1.7 metres per second.

The AGVs manage the transportation of pallets of milk at the Lidcombe site, and are capable of lifting loads of up to 1.2 tonnes, to a height of six metres. Additionally, the AGVs are suited to working at the site’s chilled environment, which has a temperature of between 2C and 4C.

According to Dematic the AGVs use sensors and laser scanners to navigate “with precision for safety” around workers and any obstacle. They are powered by Lithium-Ion batteries and can drive themselves onto charging floor plates at times of inactivity to be fully charged in two hours.

Tony Raggio, general manager AGVs at Dematic said, “Lactalis is a fast-growing company in Australia, and now with a complete fleet of AGVs, it is able to automate several areas of the warehouse, which allows it to optimise picking and dispatch operations across the board.”

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