Excel Automation, supplier of automated materials handling systems, has recently completed the third phase of its four-phase upgrade of Chivas Brothers' palletisation and automatic despatch facility at the Kilmalid site in Dumbarton, which aims to achieve a 50% increase in output. The site plays a key role in the distribution of brands such as Ballantine's, Beefeater Gin, Chivas Regal and Malibu.
The first phase refurbished eight narrow-aisle stacker cranes and the second involved the installation of new in-feed pallet conveyor systems for each of the automated stores.
Phase three included the installation of eight new production line conveying systems to transport different-sized cartons, containing a variety of bottle sizes, from the existing bottling plant into a new palletising plant where they are automatically sorted into pallet profiles. Over 1,000m of Excelveyor 500 belt-driven carton conveyor were installed.
Chivas Brothers project manager Stephen Trainor says a significant advantage of Excel's proposal was its dual-line design, which fitted into the existing building and could be built while the previous system continued operating. This was achieved by dismantling the old equipment while using the increased speed of the new system to compensate.
The fourth and final phase of refurbishment will upgrade the despatch area.
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