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Pepsi Beverage Co. installs robotic palletizers and warehouse automation systems at Tampa plant

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Pepsi Beverage Co. installs robotic palletizers and warehouse automation systems at Tampa plant

Pepsi Beverages Co. (PBC) has recently installed an automated storage and retrieval system (AS/RS) and warehouse control system (WCS) at its plant in Tampa, FL. The WCS handles two storage/retrieval machines of the AS/RS, conveying systems for pallets and cases, five robots for layer picking/palletizing, pallet squaring stations, stretch wrapping, print-and-apply labeling and the integration of the WCS to PBC's existing enterprise resource planning and warehouse management system (ERP/WMS).


The systems, from Westfalia Technologies Inc., help PBC meet its commitment to the environment and to the "reduce waste" principles of Six Sigma. Compared to a conventional warehouse, the multiple deep design of Westfalia's Go Green with High Density AS/RS design has major financial benefits as storage space is maximized, which translates into reduced building construction costs, lower sustainable operating costs (reduced energy, labor and product waste costs), as well as increased inventory accuracy through Westfalia's Savanna.NET WCS. An addition to the existing facility, this new compact warehouse uses only 30 percent of the footprint of a conventional facility, thereby having less impact on the environment, too.


The flexible, high density AS/RS meets PBC's need for maximum storage, high throughput, buffers for handling peak production from its bottling plant, and aids in preparing various types of pallets to ship to customers. Savanna.NET WCS manages and controls all products flows throughout the facility from receiving to order fulfillment. It is a complex system as PBC requires full layer and mixed layer palletizing to have "store ready" pallets loaded onto its straight and bay trucks.


"Automated order fulfillment at the case and layer level is clearly the direction many of our clients are heading. Our focus of integrating reserve storage and automated replenishment delivers fully integrated solutions for the beverage industry, combining automation of deep reserve and order selection," says Dan Labell, president of Westfalia Technologies Inc.

From the bottling lines, palletized products are delivered to the AS/RS for storage. As pallets are needed for order selection, they are placed by the SRMs into pick and build positions, and transferred via Westfalia's TC1500 Single Transfer Car with Satellite into a buffer zone serviced by a Kuka Linear Gantry. Known as the High Speed Layer Pick (HSLP) system, the gantry picks single SKU layers at the rate of 3,000 cases per hour using two robotic layer grippers suspended from an overhead gantry. Two additional robotic gantry grippers are used to remove and replenish the empty pallets.



Pepsi Beverage Co. installs robotic palletizers and warehouse automation systems at Tampa plant

Another component of the automated system is the Mixed Layer Pick (MXLP) system, which through manual Pick-to-Light case picking, automated material handling conveyors and robotic palletizing form and build layers of mixed SKU by like package type cases, at a rate of 2,000/hr. These HSLP and MXLP rates are more than five times the manual pick rates of PBC's traditional warehouses. Kuka Systems' unique layer forming software is used to build the layers, and all product movements and robot missions are tracked and managed by Savanna.NET WCS.

"The cooperation with Westfalia has been key to the success of this project. They are a company we can trust and they always have their partners and their customers' best interests in mind when executing a project. From the robustness of the equipment to the flexibility of the software the Westfalia products are reliable," says Aaron Corcoran, director of logistics at Kuka Systems NA.

The Pepsi Beverage Co., based in Somers, NY, is the largest manufacturer, seller and distributor of Pepsi beverages, with more than 100 plants worldwide and 545 distribution centers. Among the brands they handle are Pepsi, Aquafina, Aqua Minerale, Tropicana, Lipton Iced Tea, Starbucks Frappuccino, Dole juices, Mountain Dew, Sierra Mist and the SoBe line of beverages.

Source: Westfalia Technologies Inc.


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