Global dairy producer Lactalis is building on its fleet of Dematic Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs) in an effort to boost warehouse efficiency at a site in New South Wales.

The fleet has grown to include five AGV units which will allow Lactalis to incorporate automation in more areas in the warehouse.

National Logistics Optimisation manager for Lactalis, Kristian Brennan, says the decision to invest in the Australian dairy industry shows the company’s dedication and will help promote Australia as a producer of high-quality goods in Asia Pacific.

“After already experiencing major improvements to productivity with our initial adoption of Dematic’s AGVs in 2019, this new addition to the fleet will allow us to further automate our operations in both inbound and outbound zones within the warehouse.”

The fleet of AGVs work to retrieve pallets from an inbound conveyor system from production, and then feed the pallets into an order buffer, releasing the pallets at a declined angle onto pallet live storage racking. AGVs are capable of operating 24/7 in both small and large spaces and managing tight traffic at speeds of up to 1.7 metres per second.

The AGVs manage the transportation of pallets of milk at the site in Lidcombe and are capable of lifting loads of up to 1.2 tonnes to a height of six metres. Additionally, the AGVs are well suited to working at the site’s chilled environment, which has a temperature of just 2 to 4 degrees Celsius.

General manager AGVs at Dematic, Tony Raggio, says that as Lactalis is a fast-growing company in Australia, the AGVs will allow the company to optimise operations across the board.

The AGVs use sensors and laser scanners to navigate with precision for safety around workers and any obstacle. They are powered by Lithium-Ion batteries and can drive themselves onto charging floor plates at times of inactivity to be fully charged in just two hours.