Automated storage and retrieval system (AS/RS) with integrated layer pick system and Savanna.NET® Warehouse Execution System enables spirits producer to ship products 400 percent faster
Heaven Hill Brands (Heaven Hill) has installed warehouse automation technology from Westfalia Technologies, Inc. (Westfalia) at its Bardstown, Kentucky, facility. Westfalia has been a leading provider of logistics solutions for manufacturers and distributors since 1992. The high-density automated storage and retrieval system (AS/RS) with integrated layer pick system and Savanna.NET® Warehouse Execution System (WES) enabled Heaven Hill to increase storage capacity by 40 percent and ship products 400 percent faster than before.
Founded in 1935, Heaven Hill is the nation’s largest independent, family-owned and operated spirits producer and marketer and the world’s second-largest holder of Kentucky Bourbon. With significant growth in acquisitions, Heaven Hill soon found its warehouse operating at full capacity with limited expansion options. In addition, the company’s current manual processes hindered efficiency as the company grew. Heaven Hill turned to Westfalia for a solution that would meet its throughput requirements, improve shipping efficiencies, increase warehouse storage capacity and scale as the company expanded its facility.
The combination of the AS/RS and layer pick system allows Heaven Hill to seamlessly convey pallets from palletizing to storage and to truck-staging lanes, thereby streamlining the entire order fulfillment process. Westfalia’s WES, Savanna.NET®, directs all activities in the warehouse and provides real-time inventory visibility and tracking.
Cindy Mouser, director of supply chain and bottling operations, Heaven Hill, said, “Our ability to significantly cut down our dock time and truck turnaround time is a big step in moving towards being the shipper of choice. At Heaven Hill we expect future growth for both our company and our brands and Westfalia’s Savanna.NET really gives us the systems and leverage to be able to accommodate that growth.”
Westfalia’s high-density AS/RS maximizes storage capacity within Heaven Hill’s existing site with a rack structure that covers three aisles with more than 27,000 pallet rack positions and is serviced by four tandem-pallet storage retrieval machines (S/RMs). The system features storage blocks of multiple storage lane depths, including two outside storage blocks that can hold six pallets deep and middle storage blocks that hold up to 10 pallets. This gives Heaven Hill the flexibility to configure the middle storage blocks with varying lane depths, based upon inventory levels of each SKU.
Dan Labell, president, Westfalia Technologies, said, “A key benefit of a high-density AS/RS is its unique ability to improve space utilization in an existing facility without the need for a costly expansion or off-site storage. This is especially appealing to the wine and spirits industry, as many producers and distributors, like Heaven Hill, are operating at maximum capacity, while handling a growing number of SKUs. Westfalia’s AS/RS, integrated with our Savanna.NET® WES, will provide Heaven Hill with additional operational efficiencies, cost savings and a competitive advantage.”