GEORGE Weston Foods (GWF) has opened a $135 million Sydney bakery, which is expected to produce more than 100 million loaves annually for its flagship brand Tip Top.
The Chullora facility, opened by Prime Minister John Howard and set to employ 900, is said to be the largest in the southern hemisphere, and boasts an extremely smart automated supply chain system.
The new bakery was born out of the ashes of the Fairfield Tip Top bakery, which was destroyed by fire in 2002, according to the CEO of parent company Associated British Foods, George Weston.
The bakery, product packaging, order packing and dispatch systems are all installed into the facility, integrated with automated machinery that assists the entire production process.
Peacock Bros customised the print and apply barcode label system, which communicates directly with an inventory management computer system, printing and applying the crate stack contents as stacks are completed.
The ‘Weber printer/applicators’ receive information from a central computer, which stores product and distribution information, which is translated and printed onto a barcode label automatically applied to the crate.
The whole process requires minimal handling and intervention, and according to Weston, the automated conveyer system scans and guides each stack to its designated loading bay for delivery.
The bread industry is experiencing some of its biggest changes in 50 years as buyers shift their focus to healthy eating.
GWF is already the market leader for mainstream wholemeal and grain breads through its Sunblest and UP brands, and the new facility will help Tip Top to keep up with Australia’s switch to healthier eating.