Sweet success with upgrade
12 December 2012
Modernisation of the conveyor and sortation system has proved an important part of Cadbury's recent revamp of its Australian national distribution centre in Melbourne Confectionery supplier Cadbury recently carried out
Confectionery supplier Cadbury recently carried out a major upgrade of its Australian national distribution centre in Melbourne. The work involved the upgrading and modernisation of the DC's conveyor and sortation system, as well as the refurbishing and upgrading of four automated stacker and retrieval cranes.
The revamp resulted in a 20% productivity improvement to the automatic storage and retrieval crane system in the warehouse - while at the same time maintaining full capability of its distribution operations.
This was achieved by Cadbury and automated logistics systems supplier Dematic working closely together to ensure minimal disruption to operations during the A$2 million, three-and-a-half week upgrade project.
In 2005, Cadbury established a project team to fully upgrade warehouse systems and procedures, and to establish a plan with clear milestones and tight timeframes. It commissioned Dematic to conduct a survey of the operation and to make recommendations on the upgrades required. By late 2005 it had decided to proceed with the upgrade. Detailed planning continued throughout 2006, with project managers from both Dematic and Cadbury working closely together.
"Via phone hook ups to engineers in the German factory, we examined the best ways to upgrade the system while minimising the impact on productivity," said Mike Ratcliffe, Cadbury's national distribution manager. All aspects of the upgrade were configured and tested before being implemented on site, with fallback plans to revert to the old system if necessary.