The multipurpose beverage tray and display pallet from CHEP Australia is helping a Melbourne-based beverage manufacturer prevent wastage and save costs in their operation.
Slades is a well-known soft drinks business established in 1867 and presently run by the Tan family, which has turned the operation in decline into a thriving enterprise with a progressive and innovative outlook.
George Tan, one of the three brothers explains that they faced a number of problems initially when they took over the business in 2001. Quality, product consistency and the manufacturing process were some of the areas that saw improvement. They also built new warehouses with new manufacturing equipment, moved to plastic bottles, started a completely new line and added more capacity. Since the Slades brand wasn’t strong enough to sustain the business, they started to pack for retailers including ALDI.
Prior to working with ALDI, cardboard cartons were used to pack the bottled drinks. The company switched to the CHEP multipurpose beverage tray and display pallet on ALDI’s advice and was immediately able to see the benefits.
In addition to eliminating wastage through damage from cartons, Slades was also able to save costs by removing the need to print different cartons for different flavours of the drink as the pallets offered clear visibility.
The old carton system used different cartons with different bar codes for different flavours. Time savings were also achieved as the operation did not need to stop the line to change cartons while packing a different flavour.
Slades has been able to improve line speeds by at least 50% following the adoption of CHEP multipurpose beverage trays and display pallets, enabling the operation to run four different flavours in a day without stopping the line.
Slades installed a new line to meet the demand for third-party retail orders. The process is largely mechanised and works seamlessly with the CHEP multipurpose beverage tray and retail display pallet.
A robot picks up 48 bottles, the number that fills two multipurpose beverage trays, and places them on the tray. Two robots then pick up the trays and stack them on a display pallet (the size of two multipurpose beverage trays and one third of the footprint of a standard wooden CHEP pallet). When the stack reaches five high it moves down the line for wrapping, with the whole process achieving an average output of 100,000 bottles a day.
Where Slades still uses cartons for some customers, the robots can automatically pick up and stack them onto a traditional CHEP pallet, unlike the earlier manual process.
According to George, switching to the multipurpose beverage tray and display pallet has opened up a new market opportunity since the soft drinks come off the line as a retail-ready product that can go straight to the store. The high visibility of the pallet is also a plus.
The cost savings achieved through the replacement of the carton system is significant. Additionally, the pallet has also impacted sales positively.