Dongen (The Netherlands), Brussels (Belgium), 12 November 2015 – In order to gear the loading process to the accelerated warehouse processes, Zetes designed a new scanning system on Coca-Cola’s forklifts in Dongen. Zetes also advised on the design of the forklift attachments together with the company Durwen. Coca-Cola has since reduced loading time by an impressive 6 minutes per lorry, whilst also improving safety and reducing the number of errors.
Coca-Cola’s production plant in the Netherlands (Dongen) supplies the distribution centres of large supermarket chains, retail and catering businesses across the country. The company produces 6 days out of 7, 24 hours per day, in teams of 20 employees. During each shift, an average of 50 to 80 lorries are loaded, depending on the weather – in warm weather, more lorries are loaded due to the higher demand for cold drinks.
At the point of shipping, Coca-Cola had to overcome a crucial challenge with regard to speed and safety. Pallets with drinks are packed and labelled with a bar code onto a conveyor belt. Sixteen forklifts drive back and forth to collect the pallets and load them onto the correct lorry. The forklifts were able to load up to three pallets, but could only scan two of these. If a third pallet was picked up, the driver had to get out of the forklift and scan it manually using a hand-held scanner. As this led to time loss and dangerous situations, the automated scanning process required a new solution.
High performance lift trucks using a robust scanning system
Coca-Cola looked for new forklifts that were able to carry more pallets and also had the ability to scan them automatically.
Zetes developed a scanning system on the new Motrac forklifts and also advised on the design of the forklift attachments. With this new system, one type of forklift can either carry 1 euro pallet, 1 block pallet, 2 euro pallets, 2 block pallets, 3 euro pallets or 12 ‘Dollies’. Zetes equipped each forklift with three moveable, very robust scanners and sensors to the front. The scanners were also provided with a stainless steel protective cover.
6 minutes faster per lorry
The scanners are able to read the labels on the pallets directly when driving up to them, given that due to the moveability of the scanners, they can read both horizontally and vertically. The forklift driver is then sent a message with the number of the lorry onto which the pallets must be loaded. All data is automatically forwarded to the Coca-Cola SAP system using the application developed by Zetes. The ingenuity of the application lies in its capacity to carry and detect up to 3 pallets, subsequently using the necessary scanners and to transport the pallets to the lorries without any problems.
Kees Kroes, Logistics Warehouse Transport Manager at Coca-Cola Enterprises Netherlands, explains the advantages of this system: «The scanners can now read the labels regardless of their position on the pallet, the accuracy has improved from 98% to 99.9%. Furthermore, thanks to the installation of the automatic scanners and sensors, the loading process has been considerably faster, knocking off 6 minutes per lorry. The safety of the loading process, as a major priority, has also improved. When loading three pallets, the driver of the forklift no longer has to get out to scan the third pallet manually. The risk of accidents has therefore been reduced to an absolute minimum.»
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Corporate Communications Manager
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Zetes is an international corporation specialising in the provision of identification and mobility solutions. By using the latest technologies, Zetes enables its customers improve the speed and quality of their process execution and increase data accuracy, which in turn helps them to remain at the forefront of their industries. That’s what makes Zetes both a pioneer and a market leader at the same time.
The Zetes Group is based in Brussels and has more than 1100 employees in 19 countries across EMEA. In 2014, its turnover was €245.3 million. More information: www.zetes.com
About Zetes’ supply chain solutions
Zetes transforms the way modern supply chains collaborate. Its process optimisation solutions for packaging, storage, proof of delivery, sales, direct store services and store management, all linked by the ZetesOlympus repository, allow large companies to implement end-to-end tracking and tracing of goods, from production to the end user. Zetes plays an important part in helping companies deal with the challenges of global tracking, such as serialisation, parallel markets, security, legal obligations, and counterfeiting. Zetes integrates next-generation cloud platforms with cutting-edge technologies such as imaging, voice recognition, RFID, codification and mobile terminals. Zetes is a trusted partner that can guarantee perfect life cycle management of all its solutions, with its Zetes TotalCare and Zetes TotalFinance services.