Automation with a driverless forklift truck from Global AGV reduces wasted time and improves flow on the packing line at Bennett Potatoes.
In its rural setting in England, Bennett Potatoes produce, package and distribute numerous potato varieties to diverse markets. In order to distribute the products on time, they require a production and packing plant with an efficient flow without bottlenecks.
In Bennett Potatoes’ packing plant, they prepare both sacks and boxes of potatoes for distribution. The process that the AGV performs today was previously done manually. This created logistical challenges as the process takes place in a relatively small area, which is why lack of space and wasted time had previously been a hindrance to an efficient flow in the packing plant. Previously, the three employees had their own hand pallet truck to perform their tasks, and the employees found that it created a hold-up where they had to wait for each other. It was also an observation that the Managing Director of Bennett Potatoes, Ian Bennett, had made. Combined with a lack of manpower, Ian also wanted to use employee resources where it would be more beneficial. For this reason, there was a great need to automate this process.
At Bennett Potatoes, the AGV’s task is to feed a PALOMAT® INLINE with pallets. The pallets are then loaded with sacks and boxes of potatoes. The AGV handles all simple transport from A to B, so it doesn’t matter what is being transported. The pallets with the products are then placed on a conveyor belt, after which the AGV is ready to transport the pallet to wrapping before it can go further in the distribution.
With the implementation of a driverless forklift truck from Global AGV, Bennett Potatoes has managed to solve their logistical challenges and reduce wasted time, as they now use one rather than three employees in the area. They have also improved the work environment for employees, as they are now spared the heavy lifting and pushing of the products.
This simple solution helps to improve flow, increase efficiency and free up employee time to use on more important tasks, as Ian Bennett explains:
“We definitely have a better flow with the implementation of a Global AGV and a pallet magazine from PALOMAT®. I no longer need so many employees in the limited area where the filled pallets need to be handled.
At Bennett Potatoes, they have now had the AGV as a colleague for two years, something they have been very excited about. The employees who previously moved around the area where the AGV now operates are also very positive about the automation of the process, as the waiting time had been a source of irritation. They are happy that they have been freed up for other tasks, and that this frustration has been eliminated.
In fact, they have been so pleased with the implement of their first driverless forklift truck from Global AGV, that they will be shortly welcoming another one.
“I’m very pleased with the automation from Global AGV, and that it has created space for another line in the near future,” adds Ian Bennett.
This will soon be a reality as the new line is expected to be implemented in early 2023.