Automated Truck Loading Systems for EPAL!

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CCHBC are seeking innovative, non-capital-intensive solutions for EPAL (Euro Pallets) automated truck loading (side and rear), particularly in existing facilities (brownfield approach) without compromising safety.

Application Deadline
June 28th, 2024
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Summary

Background

Coca-Cola HBC is a growth-focused CPG business and strategic bottling partner of The Coca-Cola Company. We create value for all our stakeholders by supporting the socio-economic development of the societies in which we operate, and we believe building a more positive environmental impact is integral to our future growth. Together, we and our customers serve more than 715 million consumers across a broad geographic footprint of 29 countries on 3 continents. Our portfolio is one of the strongest, broadest and most flexible in the beverage industry, offering consumer-leading partner brands in the sparkling, juice, water, sport, energy, plant-based, ready-to-drink tea, coffee, adult sparkling and premium spirits categories. These brands include Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola Zero, Schweppes, Kinley, Royal Bliss, Costa Coffee, Valser, Romerquelle, Fanta, Sprite, Powerade, FuzeTea, Dobry, Cappy, Monster and Adez. We foster an open and inclusive work environment amongst our more than 28,000 employees and we are ranked among the top sustainability performers in ESG benchmarks such as the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices, CDP, MSCI ESG and FTSE4Good.

Challenge

Coca-Cola HBC is looking for innovative solutions to automate EPAL (Euro pallet) truck loading involving various technologies and systems to streamline the loading process while maintaining efficiency and safety. 

Automating EPAL truck loading involves deploying a combination of technologies such as AGVs, AMRs, conveyor systems, loading robots, and integration with WMS. By leveraging these solutions, facilities can streamline the loading process, reduce manual labour, improve efficiency, and maintain high safety standards. This is not an exhaustive list and we are looking for solutions in all areas of EPAL management.

Coca-Cola is exploring and willing to test the following areas:

Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs):

  • AGVs can be programmed to navigate predefined routes within the facility and interact with EPAL using forks, specialized attachments or grippers. AGVs can transport pallets to the loading docks, where they are then loaded onto either the side or rear of waiting trucks.

Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs):

  • AMRs can be deployed to transport EPAL from storage areas to trucks, navigating around obstacles and adjusting their routes in real-time. AMRs equipped with lifting mechanisms or conveyor systems can autonomously load EPAL pallets onto either from the side or rear of trucks.

Conveyor Systems:

  • Conveyor systems can be integrated into existing facilities to automate the movement of EPAL pallets from pre-stage areas to trucks (non-modified trailers).

Loading Robots:

  • Loading robots equipped with advanced vision systems and grippers can automate the process of stacking EPAL onto trucks. These robots can receive palletized goods from conveyor systems or AGVs/AMRs and accurately stack them onto trucks, optimizing space utilization and ensuring stable loads.

Safety Systems and Sensors:

  • Implementing safety systems and sensors is crucial to ensure the safe operation of automated truck loading equipment. Safety sensors can detect the presence of workers or obstacles in the vicinity of automated equipment, triggering emergency stops or warning signals to prevent accidents.

Integration with Warehouse Management Systems (WMS):

  • Integration with WMS allows for seamless coordination and control of automated truck loading operations. WMS can generate optimized loading plans based on factors such as cargo type, destination, and truck capacity, maximizing efficiency and minimizing loading times. Real-time communication between automated equipment and the WMS enables dynamic task assignment and resource allocation, ensuring smooth operation of the loading process.

Coca-Cola HBC is particularly interested in solutions that are ready for market, or in a final stage of development.

What's in it for you?

This is a global Challenge and Coca-Cola HBC is willing to test the selected solutions (PoC) and subject to testing outcome and ROI to deploy them at scale.

Coca-Cola HBC will have an internal review of all applications once the Challenge has closed. Successful applicants will be contacted at this point.