YORK, Pa. – October 20, 2022 – Westfalia Technologies, Inc., a leading provider of logistics solutions for manufacturers and distributors, announces its automation technology will be installed in two site locations for Manhattan Beer Distributors, a major New York City-based beer and beverage distributor. Westfalia was selected to provide machine controls software and WES software for an order release module (ORM) at Manhattan Beer's location in the Bronx as well as a turn-key automated storage and retrieval system (AS/RS) at the Suffern, NY facility.
The ORM implementation in the Bronx operates as an automated case release system and an order building system. This automation technology will serve as case picking for Manhattan Beer's top SKUs. After receiving orders from the warehouse management system (WMS), the ORM automatically generates mixed SKU layers and picks the necessary cases to form those layers, eliminating the need for manual picking. After cases are automatically picked, they are sent to the palletizer for automatic palletization or to a manual palletizing station when appropriate. The ORM is controlled by Westfalia's Savanna.NET® Warehouse Execution System (WES), interfacing with the existing systems in the Bronx facility.
The ORM is expected to go live this month.
Like the ORM, Savanna.NET® will also control the AS/RS and integrate with Manhattan Beer's existing solutions at the Suffern distribution center. The building will have an inbound section to retrieve beer from freight and rail shipments, and the AS/RS will handle both full and mixed pallets. The AS/RS will feature more than 22,000 pallet positions and three aisles supporting up to 3,000 pound pallets. The multi-deep system will be seven levels high and be housed in a 55 foot tall building.
"At any given time we have 4 to 5 million cases of beer stored throughout our five facilities," said Michael McCarthy, Senior Vice President of Operations at Manhattan Beer. "Not only are these systems going to help with hiring and staffing, but it's extremely difficult and costly to expand in the New York real estate market. Westfalia's AS/RS is going to significantly improve our storage density."
The greenfield project will connect two existing buildings in Suffern with the AS/RS implementation located in between (refer to the image below).
*The red lines indicate a rough outline of where the new AS/RS will be built at the Suffern location.
With innovative designs utilizing features like triple rail support, the AS/RS handles all beer pallets directly on the equipment (from MillerCoors plastic pallets to a wide variety of Corona pallets), regardless of pallet differentiations from brand to brand.
"Consider the wide variation of pallet types in the beer industry," said Borja Salanova, Senior Solutions Consultant at Westfalia. "Our capacity to handle them is one of the most noteworthy aspects of this project. A Westfalia AS/RS in the beer industry is a true way to help streamline operations."
The AS/RS is expected to go live in late 2023.
"I admire Westfalia for their patience–you could say we dated for a long time before we got married," said Mitchel Bergson, Chief Transformation Officer at Manhattan Beer. "Most importantly, we felt trust with the Westfalia team. If we ever have an issue, I can call Dan Labell (President of Westfalia), and he takes my call. Their experience in the beverage industry, especially in wine and spirits and soft drinks, also gave us confidence in our choice of Westfalia as our warehouse automation provider."