Briefing: Westfalia's Automated Solutions Enhance The Glenmore Distillery's New Distribution Center

The Glenmore Distillery has been a fixture in the Owensboro Community since the late 1800s. Originally called the Monarch Distillery, James Thompson re-named it The Glenmore Distillery after the Glenmore Castle near his birthplace in County Derry, Northern Ireland. During prohibition, The Glenmore Distillery was fortunate enough to be one of four distilleries in the country allowed to operate on a limited scale for medicinal necessity.

In March of 2009 the Sazerac Company purchased the Distillery and reprised the name The Glenmore Distillery. The Distillery boasts one of the largest and most modern bottling facilities in the country and continues to be a sizable employer in the city of Owensboro, KY.

Download Case Study in PDF Format

Case Study: Westfalia's Automated Solutions Enhance The Glenmore Distillery's New Distribution Center

Challenge: Needed an updated warehouse to prepare for future growth

A family-owned business since 1869, Sazerac continues its commitment to its distilling companies with a $71 million investment in the state of Kentucky at its three distilleries: The Buffalo Trace Distillery, The Glenmore Distillery and the Barton 1792 Distillery. 

Sazerac invested $65 million in both Buffalo Trace Distillery in Frankfort and The Glenmore Distillery in Owensboro to support increased growth. 

Solution: New distribution center fully equipped with a high-density AS/RS and WES

With expansion necessary due to growth, The Glenmore Distillery turned to automation as it constructed a new distribution center. The distillery is now one of the few spirits suppliers to use an automated storage and retrieval system (AS/RS). Included in the AS/RS design is an automated layer picking system, truck staging lanes and conventional selective racks.

Westfalia’s high-bay AS/RS occupies 136,836 square feet of the 223,000 square-foot distribution center. This high-density AS/RS contains four tandem storage and retrieval machines (S/RMs) which operate in four aisles storing pallets seven levels high. With 36,748 storage positions, the two outside storage blocks hold between one and eight pallets deep, while the middle blocks hold up to 10. Each crane can induct/output 90 pallets of finished goods per hour, with a total of 360 pallets moving within the system. The AS/RS also contains 52 pallet staging lanes, holding up to 416 pallets. 

Integrated with the AS/RS is an automated layer pick system to replenish stacks. The layer pick system is capable of moving 150 layers per hour and storing 255 SKUs. The layer pick system contains one robot on a gantry frame with 270 pallet positions and has the ability to pick a near limitless variety of products. The Glenmore Distillery’s automated layer pick system is equipped with a clamp and vacuum picking head capable of multiple layer picks, resulting in the movement of 80 layers per hour. 

In addition, The Glenmore Distillery’s design incorporates a four-level high conventional selective rack with 1,554 pallet rack positions. Designed for slow-moving SKUs, there are 384 pick positions at the floor level with 1,170 pick or reserve storage positions on levels two through four.

Westfalia’s Savanna.NET® warehouse execution system(WES) powers the AS/RS and layer picking system, providing optimal control of material flow, order picking and inventory management. “We’re pleased our business has grown enough to support such a highly advanced distribution center,” said Chris Stout, plant general manager, The Glenmore Distillery. “We look forward to being able to serve our customers in a more efficient manner and being prepared for potential future growth.”

With Westfalia’s AS/RS and Savanna.NET® WES, The Glenmore Distillery’s new distribution center is more efficiently storing, retrieving and managing pallets of finished goods. The automated layer pick solution improves picking efficiency, while ensuring 100 percent order accuracy. The Glenmore Distillery distribution center will also improve traceability due to the flexible and compact layer pick system that has access to a large volume of inventory.

Dan Labell, president, Westfalia Technologies, said, “Westfalia’s AS/RS, integrated with our Savanna.NET® WES, will help The Glenmore Distillery achieve these benefits, while providing additional operational efficiencies, cost savings and a competitive advantage.”

“We're pleased our business has grown to support such a highly advanced distribution center” Chris Stout, plant general manager

System Features:

  • Size:

    • 230,000 square foot new distribution center
    • AS/RS occupies 136,836 sq. feet
    • 52 truck staging lanes
  • Capacity:

    • 1,554 pallet rack positions in the conventional selective racks
    • 36,748 storage positions
    • Truck staging lanes, holding up to 416 pallets
    • Layer pick system moves 150 layers per hour and stored 255 SKUs
    • Induct/output 90 pallets of finished goods per hour
  • Technology:

    • Automated layer picking system
    • Transfer cars
    • Vertical reciprocating conveyor (VRC)
    • 4 Tandem S/RMs
    • Savanna.NET® WES

System Benefits:

  • Maximizes order picking productivity and accuracy rates
  • Efficient storage of slow-moving SKUs
  • Future growth potential with the ability to expand the existing warehouse
  • Increases throughput
  • Raises efficiency and productivity of the overall materials handling system
  • Improves space utilization while improving system performance
  • Minimizes product damage
  • Enhances truck loading productivity and efficiency
  • Boosts labor efficiencies while maximizing space utilization

Latest Glenmore Distillery Videos:

Our Mission: To deliver unparalleled warehousing solutions by earning the trust of our customers, understanding their business needs and honoring the commitments we make.