Equipment/Technology, Europe, UK, Ireland, News April 2024, Processing, fries, chips

PepsiCo’s Veurne plant in Belgium embraces cutting-edge automation for crisp production

In a bold move marking the intersection of innovation and efficiency, PepsiCo is set to revolutionize its Veurne (Belgium) factory, one of Europe’s largest potato crisp production facilities. This transformation, a leap into the future of automated logistics, is in collaboration with Mecalux, a renowned intralogistics group.

Twenty-five years after acquiring the factory, PepsiCo’s Belgian entity has decided to overhaul its logistics operations. The plan is to construct a state-of-the-art Automated Storage and Retrieval System (AS/RS) to manage the daily production of an impressive 2 million bags of crisps and snacks. These snacks, which include household names like Lay’s, Doritos, Bugles, and Cheetos, are a staple in many homes across Europe.

The centerpiece of this logistics transformation is the installation of Mecalux’s Automated Pallet Shuttle system. Recognized as one of the most efficient high-density storage solutions in the market, this system promises to enhance product inflow and outflow dramatically. It consists of a 100-meter-long conveyor line connecting PepsiCo’s production plant directly to the AS/RS. This innovative approach ensures a seamless and efficient transition from production to storage.

The AS/RS itself is an engineering marvel, featuring four aisles with two blocks of racking on each side. To facilitate movement, twelve transfer cars will operate on each storage level, moving goods to their designated storage channels. Here, motorized shuttle cars will then automatically transport pallets to their specific locations.

Further augmenting the system’s efficiency, PepsiCo will implement Mecalux’s Easy WMS warehouse management system. This software integration with the company’s ERP system is a crucial element, ensuring real-time stock control and seamless coordination of product flow from production to storage, and eventually to distribution.

Spanning over 40,000 m², equivalent to eight football pitches, the Veurne factory is not just large but also a beacon of sustainable technology. The introduction of the new AS/RS from Mecalux is expected to further cement its position as a leading facility in the crisps and snacks sector.

This ambitious project at the Veurne plant is more than an upgrade; it’s a testament to PepsiCo’s commitment to embracing cutting-edge technology for efficiency and sustainability. As this project unfolds, it sets a new standard in the food production industry, particularly in the realm of crisps and snacks, marking a significant milestone in the journey of innovation in logistics.

Source: Mecalux
Cover image: Credit Mecalux

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