In July of this year, Coca-Cola HBC Česko a Slovensko successfully launched a trial operation of a new, fully automated warehouse, which is the company's newest warehouse in Europe. It has an area of more than 9,000 m2 and stores more than 21,000 pallets of popular drinks. In addition to state-of-the-art warehouse technologies using elements of artificial intelligence, there is also a newly built wetland system in the company's premises in Kyje, Prague. As part of a sustainable approach, thanks to it, the captured rainwater from the area will be returned to nature, instead of being discharged into the sewer. The automated warehouse was ceremoniously opened on Wednesday, October 6, 2021 with the participation of representatives of Coca-Cola HBC Czech Republic and Slovakia, STRABAG, System Logistics and the mayor of Prague 14.
The premises of Coca-Cola HBC CZ / SK in Kyje, Prague, have expanded with a new warehouse equipped with the latest technologies. Thanks to an investment of almost half a billion Czech crowns, a hall with an area of 9,125 m2 has grown, which can hold more than 21,000 pallets. It will allow the iconic beverage manufacturer to better manage current needs to ensure perfect service to its customers. At the same time, it is designed to cover future potential growth and expansion of the product portfolio. In addition to leading warehousing technologies using automated solutions with elements of artificial intelligence, the investment also includes the modernization of the outdoor areas with regard to sustainability and respect for the environment, as well as the reduction of noise pollution for the surrounding community.
"Although the entire project was planned long before the covid crisis, we managed, despite all the limitations, to complete this large investment in time and start operation within 15 months of the start of construction. The hall itself boasts a number of modern technologies that will contribute to better service to our customers. But what I am especially proud of is the wetland system built on land near the warehouse. This is where we will drain all rainwater from buildings and adjacent areas that would otherwise end up in the sewers. The water will thus return naturally to nature and contribute to the promotion of biodiversity in the surrounding area. In the hot summer months, it will also ensure gentle cooling of the surroundings, "explains Jan Turek, director of the supply chain (production and logistics) of Coca-Cola HBC CZ / SK.
The construction of the new hall started in March 2020, so only 470 days passed until the start of trial operation on July 12, 2021. "During the difficult conditions, the coronavirus pandemic managed to ensure not only the construction of a hall with an area of more than 9,000 m2, including all the necessary technologies, but also the surrounding roads, noise walls, cargo shelters and the construction of a wetland. In order to ensure the efficiency of pallet transport, the new automated warehouse was connected to the original warehouses. For the correct functionality of automated technologies, the greatest demands were placed on the construction of this project on the equality of floors and partial fulfillment of deadlines enabling the start of assembly of technologies, “describes Tomáš Rys, technical director from STRABAG.
The hall is equipped with a modern system for checking the correctness of preparation and loading, thanks to a camera system that uses artificial intelligence. Pallets are stored and removed from storage by automatically controlled stackers that operate the racking system. The maximum capacity of the seven-storey warehouse solution is 21,168 pallet positions. The direct automatic connection of the PET production line with a capacity of 72 pallets per hour to the new warehouse ensures that people will first touch the products from this line at the moment of loading onto the truck. Receipt from production to the automatic warehouse is realized through one collection point, the so-called "Station". From there, the pallets are transported by conveyors to the newly built automatic warehouse.
Dispatch from the warehouse works on the principle of JIT (just in time), which means that the actual unloading of pallets does not begin until the driver registers for loading. The system still allows you to prepare the required number of pallets to fill the entire truck in just 15 to 20 minutes. Thanks to nine dispensing ramps, it is possible to unload more than 250 pallets of goods in a single hour. The system supports the sorting of pallets so that they respect the needs of distribution and customer requirements for storage on the vehicle or the date of production / consumption.
"Due to the limitation of the warehouse height to 20 meters, we had to go to a double depth solution. However, this does not allow the storage of variable products within the same aisle in normal warehouses. However, this variability was the client's request. That's why we've developed a unique solution that allows for variability even at double warehouse depths and that contributes to its high efficiency, ”describes Luca Canali's state-of-the-art automated warehouse technology from System Logistics, which delivered the equipment to the warehouse.
The ceremonial opening of the automated warehouse of Coca-Cola HBC took place on Wednesday, October 6, 2021. In addition to representatives of Coca-Cola HBC CZ / SK, the event was also attended by representatives of STRABAG and System Logistics. The invitation was also accepted by the mayor, vice-mayors and other representatives of the city district of Prague 14 - Kyje. The program also included a commented tour, where media representatives had the opportunity to see the new storage facilities and the outer area of the wetland for the first time.