Adaptable MultiPick, the all-rounder in order picking

May 08, 2008
Cimcorp Headquarters

In recent years, the Finnish brewing industry has seen a lot of changes, which have had an impact on the production and distribution of beer and soft drinks. The MultiPick system supplied by Cimcorp has helped Olvi, one of Finland’s leading brewers, to adapt to these changes in exemplary fashion.

The recyclable can has become an even more attractive option in the eyes of the consumer. Changes are coming for plastic bottles, too. Before, mineral water and other soft drinks were bottled in returnable plastic bottles. By the end of the year, a recyclable plastic bottle will be introduced. In addition to cans and the two types of plastic bottles, the drinks industry also has to deal with the traditional glass bottle.

Logistics and evolution

The development of packaging forms has posed huge challenges on the entire Finnish brewing industry. In particular, considerable adaptability is asked of the logistics systems of the major brewers, which have adopted automated order picking, because conversion from old packages to new ones will happen in practice on the fly. In other words, during the transition stage the systems will have to be able to handle both the obsolescent and the new packaging modes in parallel.

Olvi’s distribution center in Iisalmi was automated in 2005. At that time, all products delivered in plastic beverage crates or on dollies moved into the MultiPick system supplied by Cimcorp, whereas cans were excluded from the first phase of automated order picking. However, the strong growth in can sales was predicted both at Olvi and at Cimcorp. The contingency for automated order picking for cans was built into the system at the installation phase. So it was possible to implement the actual transition flexibly.

From crates to trays

The returnable plastic bottles that are being withdrawn from the market are still mostly dispatched from Olvi in plastic beverage crates. Soon they too will be used less and less, even though they will not become completely unnecessary.

The development of practical trays has been a joint project for the whole brewing industry. Development work began with trays intended for bottles and continued with development of a tray suitable for cans.

All in all, Olvi uses five different beverage trays. The MultiPick order picking system covers trays for 0.5-liter, 0.95-liter and 1.5-liter recyclable plastic bottles as well as the can tray that can be stacked with beverage crates. The tray designed for two-liter recyclable plastic bottles is picked using the MultiPick Dolly system.

Cimcorp adaptable MultiPick for brewers

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