With transport being a key component of the distribution system of commercial foods and beverages, Industrial Conveying (Aust) Pty Ltd is able to design and manufacture as well as implement loading and unloading facilities at multiple sites for the same client.
The company’s expansion into this type of solutions market saw a recent challenge successfully met for a beverage specialist, where installations were undertaken at both the existing production facility and a new distribution warehouse in another part of the region.
The client’s requirements were for a system that is able to pre-arrange product to conform to transportation requirements and load/unload palletised product in an efficient and reliable way, as well as reduce time and handling costs associated with existing/standard practices.
What also had to be taken into consideration was that the client will be serving all types of businesses with huge variations in delivery quantities: ranging from the largest supermarket chains down to the local grocery stores.
Management at Industrial Conveying, which is based in Bendigo, Victoria, believes that until recently a beverage and food handler would most likely have approached a foreign company to design, manufacture and implement such a sophisticated system as leading materials handling suppliers in Australia had lost pace with world’s best practice.
However, for Industrial conveying, a key aspect of the success of this project was that it is an all Australian company, based in Australia, that can deliver a rapid turnkey result.
By being local, the company is able to significantly reduce the turnaround time compared to what an offshore supplier could deliver.
It was able to deliver on time and on budget a modern and materials handling systems coordinated across two high-volume sites that can work in synchronicity to facilitate a rapid and constant product-to-market demand by the client.
The client set a requirement for reduced handling associated with trailer loading and unloading to and from production and storage facilities throughout the state.
This was a critical issue. The less handling, the better the return per truck trip, and when it is taken into consideration that these two depots have the capacity to load and unload on a 24/7 basis, over the course of each financial year the client will see very significant returns.
The idea is to automate docks so virtually no handling is involved. The use of expensive forklifts is obsolete as a mechanism performs all the loading and unloading, thereby eliminating all occupational health and safety issues associated with manual handling.
Software link between both depots is in real-time so that plant management is kept constantly up-to-date with quantities of product movement.
ICA designed, manufactured and implemented two types of docks – Route Docks and General Docks – to meet schedules servicing local small businesses as well as supermarket chains.
Route Docks operate using a specially designed air skate system that engages with a specialised flat-floor trailer configuration with inbuilt air guide rails for the loading of product.
With the General Docks, a chain conveyor system combined with an air operated powered chain floor trailer facilitates both loading and unloading of product.
The docks receive product from an automated conveyor-driven delivery system that rapidly forms the pallets into complete pre-arranged trailer loads, allowing trailers to be loaded in a turnaround time of 2-3 minutes.
This is exceptionally productive as the pre-arranged forming of a complete load actually takes place before the transport vehicle has arrived to collect the load.
This system is infinitely faster than the archaic method of reversing an empty truck into the dock, using expensive and potentially dangerous forklifts to load the truck pallet by pallet, and then checking off the paperwork before delivery starts.