Subscribe to our free, weekly email newsletter!


Casebook 2011: Arla Foods adds automatic guided vehicles

After conveyors and manual warehouse trucks, a dairy company puts AGVs to work.
By Josh Bond, Associate Editor
January 31, 2011

Arla Foods was interested in automation, but the cramped space and uneven floor levels in its 1974 warehouse in Sweden demanded a unique solution. With a fleet of resilient automatic guided vehicles (AGVs) and traffic control software (Kollmorgen, 540-467-3086, http://www.kollmorgen.com), the company safely and efficiently modernized its operations.

Arla Foods is Europe’s second-largest dairy company with operations in Europe and North America. The site in Gothenburg, Sweden, is one of three production facilities and serves the western region of the country. Back in 2004, the outdated conveyor system that used to transport dairy products from the production area to refrigerated storage was replaced with five manual warehouse trucks operating two shifts a day.

As Arla continuously looked for ways to cut costs in warehouse operations, automated warehouse trucks emerged as an attractive option because the vehicles can be cost effective and flexible. In 2009, Arla installed an AGV system handling 600 to 800 transportation tasks per day. After automating the transportation of dairy goods from the production area to refrigerated storage, the company significantly cut its operating costs.

Gothenburg’s new system design took on a number of challenges. AGVs would need to operate reliably around personnel and order-picker trucks, handle frequent temperature changes from refrigerated to warehouse, and deal with uneven floors inherited from the original building.

Six manual trucks were replaced with six AGVs running two shifts a day. The software for traffic control and order management was integrated with the existing warehouse management system, providing greater accuracy and additional flexibility.

“We are free to change goods locations and the warehouse layout whenever we need to, which was a great advantage,” says project manager Åke Larsson. “With the new system we get a constant traffic flow.”

About the Author

image
Josh Bond
Associate Editor

Josh Bond is an associate editor to Modern. Josh was formerly Modern’s lift truck columnist and contributing editor, has a degree in Journalism from Keene State College and has studied business management at Franklin Pierce.


Subscribe to Modern Materials Handling magazine

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Find out what the world’s most innovative companies are doing to improve productivity in their plants and distribution centers.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Recent Entries

Transportation & Logistics companies are winning customers and improving profitability by taking a fresh look at their operations. Don't miss this brand new ebook from Barcoding, Inc. and Honeywell, "Automating Transportation and Logistics: How automation and assessment programs are helping T&L companies cut costs, increase cash, and improve customer experience."

After 53 years in Jonesboro, Ark., the company will add new manufacturing capabilities and 75 permanent jobs.

Loscam, Asia Pacific’s leading pallet pooling service provider, recently opened a new depot in Kota Kinabalu, capital city of the state of Sabah Malaysia, further extending its services to East Malaysia.

The PMI, the ISM’s index to measure growth inched up 0.7 percent to 53.5 over May’s 52.8 (a PMI of 50 or greater represents growth). This reading marks sequential growth for the third month in a row.

More than 30 leading suppliers of reusable products and services will be available in the Reusable Packaging Pavilion. The exhibitors include manufacturers, material suppliers, providers of washing and other specialty equipment, and service providers of reusable packaging systems and solutions.



© Copyright 2015 Peerless Media LLC, a division of EH Publishing, Inc • 111 Speen Street, Ste 200, Framingham, MA 01701 USA