The warehouse is attached to the DWI (Drawn, Walled and Ironed) metal production facility which produces two piece food cans at a rate of more than 100,000 per hour.
The investment includes a fleet of ‘fully automated’ forklift trucks from AGVE.
Known also as ‘Automated Guided Vehicles’ (AGVs), they are controlled by software and manage the operation of the 7,500 sq. meter warehouse in a lights out environment.
Trucks are designed to take four pallets at a time from the production area to the warehouse for storage and then take them back out to one of the five loading bays for shipment.
The system has been designed to stack the pallets four high, which equates to 12 metres, in deep bays. Ardagh claimed it was the first time such stack configuration has been automated in Europe.
Jan de Bruin, plant manager of the facility, said it gives it and customers a more efficient, smoother streamlined logistical service.
“It is longer than a football pitch (or the equivalent size of 40 indoor tennis courts), is equipped with the latest software and hardware systems to monitor movements, and, we calculate, will remove 12 tonnes of CO2 through fewer truck movements to our previous external warehouses.”
Meanwhile, Ardagh has been linked with making an offer in relation to the plants Ball Corporation must divest as part of its deal for Rexam but nothing has been officially announced.