Aging handheld laser scanners are considered outdated technology: When the forklift drivers load trucks at the Flensburger brewery with filled kegs or beer crates, a Cognex barcode reader mounted on the mast recognizes the pallet label and scans the barcode. This not only saves time, but enhances safety in congested forklift and truck traffic, and has proven its worth since the technology was installed.
In beverage logistics, operations centers require large amounts of goods to be handled at high speed. This is particularly true for the Flensburger brewery, as the company has achieved growth in a virtually stagnant market and sold a record of 628,000 hectoliters of beer in 2018. In other words: 172,000 liters of beverages were brewed and bottled per day, and divided into 17 kinds. The bulk of the beer brewed continues to be the legendary Flensburger Pilsener with the distinctive swing top. The non-alcoholic beverage segment is also seeing strong growth, which has facilitated a business decision to build a new, larger logistics center.
A new code-reading solution for pallet identification
For the present, the logistics managers are working closely with Jetschke GmbH & Co. KG to optimize the flow of goods and information in the existing building. Jetschke is the licensed dealer for Linde forklift trucks in the far north. The company with over 270 employees provides and services the fleet of robust and high-performance multi-pallet forklift trucks that convey the “Flens” to the trucks. In addition, Jetschke is responsible for incorporating mobile scanning solutions into the information flow, i.e. into Flensburger brewery’s merchandise management system.
Historically, the forklift drivers were equipped with a handheld scanner, with which they recorded the pallets to be loaded. A terminal in the forklift truck cabin displayed which lorry was to be loaded with the respective pallet and once the pallet was scanned and put on the lorry, the system registered the item as “loaded.” This is a common practice in many companies.