As a specialist serving Australia’s alcoholic beverage supply chain, BevChain needs to operate swiftly and efficiently across a vast marketplace. The warehousing and distribution company handles more than 2.5 billion serving units of alcohol annually, delivering to 25,000 outlets across Australia and New Zealand. With all that ground to cover, there’s no time to waste.
To that end, BevChain has stepped up its game with a high-density automated storage and retrieval system (AS/RS) for palletized loads at its Auburn, New South Wales, facility, one of 22 warehousing and distribution centers in the BevChain network. Working with material handling automation solutions provider Swisslog, the company installed a PowerStore automated warehouse shuttle system that has improved productivity and increased storage-space utilization at the site—all while sharpening the company’s future-focused approach to logistics.
PowerStore is designed for high-throughput applications in facilities looking to maximize space utilization—and that’s exactly what the team at BevChain was looking for at its Auburn facility, which company leaders say previously functioned as a largely traditional, manual warehouse operation. The new high-density storage system includes 30,000 pallet locations with vertical conveyors that transfer pallets to and from any of the machine’s five levels. The system includes 20 satellite aisle carriers and 20 row carriers, one in each level of the system’s four quadrants, which transfer pallets to and from their locations. The system is powered by Swisslog’s SynQ software, which is integrated with BevChain’s warehouse management system (WMS).
Thanks to PowerStore, formerly manual tasks have been automated, and the facility now runs a 24/6 operation—with faster throughput, improved accuracy, and a future-focused mindset at all levels of the organization.
“This technology-driven facility [is] giving our people the chance to gain new knowledge and skills in a ‘warehouse of the future,’” BevChain President Misha Shliapnikoff said in a statement describing the project. “This site represents BevChain’s commitment to work smarter for our customers. We continue to invest in their future with high-performing supply chains and best-in-class technology,” he added.
Among the project’s many benefits, BevChain has achieved a 60% increase in storage utilization at the site since implementing PowerStore. The facility has also experienced across-the-board performance improvement and reduced operational costs since going live in 2020.
A hallmark of the project is the partnership between Swisslog and BevChain, which includes an on-site operations team from Swisslog to ensure the system continues to work efficiently and effectively. The team, which provides software support, training, condition monitoring, and spare-parts maintenance, is uniquely qualified to handle those tasks, the system’s provider says.“Members of the same team that helped build the PowerStore solution are now part of the system operations team, which means they have a huge advantage when it comes to problem-solving and troubleshooting,” Paul Woodward, Swisslog maintenance manager, said in the statement describing the project. “Knowing how the system is connected—including parts that are no longer easily accessible—can save a lot of time when identifying issues in the future.”