Fonterra is a multinational dairy company co-operatively owned by nearly 11,000 New Zealand dairy farmers supplying more than 14 billion litres per year. Fonterraproduces all kinds of dairy products such as milk, yoghurt, cheese, butter and ice cream.
As part of its innovation policy Fonterra strives for continuous improvement in its processes to allow for fewer tanker movements, cost and waste saving and environmental benefits. In that respect Fonterra started two light-out pilot projects at the facilities of Te Rapa ad Pahiatua with the objective of running the plants without operating staff. Egemin’s automatic guided vehicle systems match this purpose perfectly. Egemin Automation developed an AGV concept to transport pallets filled with milk powder to an intermediate storage buffer.
Egemin searched and found the ideal partner though rml, home-based in Te Rapa New Zealand. rml is Egemin’s local agent and integrator for Australia and New Zealand for Egemin AGV systems. This allowed Fonterra to have a local partner that could respond very quickly to any problem.
- Thanks to Egemin’s AGV project the entire installation is running fully lights out resulting in considerable staff savings.
- When conventional forklift trucks were used packs of milk powder were often damaged due to erroneous manoeuvres caused by the driver. This has lead to an additional savings and an improtant quality improvement.
This order follows the successful commissioning of Egemin’s previous automated guided vehicle transport system in Fonterra’s plant of Te Rapa, installed during the summer of 2006.
Cooperation with rml has allowed for quicker system start-up and dedicated life cycle services. The second system at Pahiatua was started up by rml staff.