Gantry-based robot maker Cimcorp, which specialises in order fulfilment and tyre-handling solutions, is providing a robotic dolly picking system for Olvi Brewery at its headquarters facility in Iisalmi, Finland. The Olvi site distributes beers, ciders, soft drinks, energy drinks and bottled water directly to retailers all over Finland. Gantry robots handle the dolly picking as well as software, which controls the material flow after production – from the high-bay warehouse to the loading docks for order fulfilment.
Olvi’s previous order picking solution by Cimcorp has been modified to handle kegs, designed to store pressurized beverages like beer, cider or long drinks, in addition to beverage trays. Cimcorp also provided the software modifications needed for controlling the keg gripper.
Cimcorp is supplying a new robotic dolly picking system for Olvi Brewery, as well as modifying the solution it supplied in 2014 to enable the handling of kegs and trays
Marjatta Rissanen, Customer Service and Administration Director, Olvi Brewery, said, “30-litre kegs are hard to handle because of their size and weight. Previously, kegs were picked manually and added to customer-specific pallets. During the summer season, the amount of kegs picked each day increases dramatically due to heightened demand. The new keg gripper will not only help optimize handling during peak times of the year, but also make it safer for our employees and get products to our customers faster.”
Olvi and Cimcorp started their continuing partnership in 2005, when the Finnish brewery first invested in its initial automated order picking system. The long-standing partnership helped with the development of the keg gripper. “We struggled with handling kegs for a few years. Suddenly our Technical Manager realized that Cimcorp has a gripper that handles tires. Tires are heavy and round, just like our kegs,” Rissanen added. “It seemed like a natural fit.”
The modified keg gripper was customized in spring 2018, just in time for the summer peak season. “Despite the tight schedule, the implementation was excellent. The equipment has worked well from the beginning,” said Pekka Kääriäinen, Technical Manager, Olvi Brewery.
Founded in 1878, Olvi Brewery celebrates its 140th anniversary this year. The company has always been a trailblazer in revolutionizing many traditions in the Finnish brewing industry. “We constantly try to stay ahead of the curve, be agile and react quickly to any changes in trends. It might be why we are still around. Our work culture is very innovative, and it is part of our culture to always think differently and find new and better ways of doing things,” added Pekka Kääriäinen.
Kai Tuomisaari, Vice President of Sales, Cimcorp, said, “Both of these orders confirm that our long-time customers value our solutions and trust us. How our relationship has evolved is an indication of this mutual trust. We like to think that we are more like partners rather than having a conventional customer-supplier relationship.”