PepsiCo deploys Dematic ASRS for its Thailand production and logistics facility

Dematic ASRS in PepsiCo facility.
The ASRS that Dematic set up for PepsiCo features a total of 16,520 pallet locations. | Source: Dematic

PepsiCo faced growing demand for its products in Thailand. The global convenience food and beverage company recognized that it needed to add both production and logistics capacity. PepsiCo recently partnered with Dematic to integrate automation in its expanded regional hub in Rojana, Thailand.

“Rojana is one of our biggest plants, and it also has several different product platforms. We have potato chips, we have Stax-brand chips, and we have Fry Pack in extruded products as well,” said Colin Matthews, supply chain senior director for IndoChina Foods at PepsiCo, in a release. “Those products are made at Rojana and are not only distributed nationally across Thailand, but also internationally to Vietnam and other neighboring countries.”

“We foresee a manpower shortage being a major challenge for our local operations in Thailand,” added Charan Techapattaraporn, logistics manager at PepsiCo. “Automation, therefore, is the perfect solution to take on this challenge, whilst also improving our facility operations across the board.”

Dematic collaborates closely

PepsiCo turned to Dematic as its automation partner. The Atlanta-based systems integrator designs, builds, and supports systems for customers in manufacturing, warehousing, and distribution.

“I’ve now worked with Dematic across two business units, firstly here in Indochina and also in Australia and New Zealand,” Matthews told Mobile Robot Guide. “I’ve seen Dematic really lean into providing a customized response based on the tailored needs of individual problems.”

With research and development engineering centers, manufacturing facilities, and service centers in more than 26 countries, Dematic said its more than 10,000 employees have supported successful installs for some of the world’s leading brands. The company is a member of KION Group, a leading supplier of industrial trucks and supply chain systems.

Dematic worked closely with PepsiCo to address its storage, throughput capacity, and productivity needs. The resulting automated storage and retrieval system (ASRS) has a direct link to both production and order-fulfillment operations.

“The system was completed on schedule,” said Techapattaraporn. “We are also well supported by both domestic and international Dematic teams who are ready to quickly aid PepsiCo in terms of both hardware and software.”


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Inside the PepsiCo ASRS deployment

“Dematic has a strong track record of successfully implementing ASRS solutions across the Asia Pacific region and globally, catering to diverse industries and applications,” Phamondate Rukdee, sales manager at Dematic Thailand, told Mobile Robot Guide. “The ASRS is at the heart of PepsiCo’s strategy to enhance its production and logistics efficiency at the Rojana facility.”

“The ASRS aids in storing products before they are delivered to customers,” said Rukdee. “This solution should achieve the highest capacity in Thailand, reaching a height of approximately 35 m [114.8 ft.]. The storage system is highly capable and efficient, even within space constraints.”

The ASRS deployed at PepsiCo’s facility stores pallets within five aisles of double-deep, high-bay racking with a total of 16,520 pallet locations. A network of pallet conveyors and a rail-guided vehicle (RGV) shuttle car receive pallets automatically at the end of the production lines. The RGV or conveyors then transport the pallets for storage.

Next, the RGVs or conveyors bring the pallets from storage to dispatch docks or to automatically replenished pick locations for full-case order picking. The system includes Dematic’s warehouse control system (WCS) to manage all the automation, the material flow, and the inventory. The software also provides real-time tracking and visibility of all transactions.

PepsiCo also deployed five Dematic RapidStore storage and retrieval machines (SRMs), which are capable of handling loads up to 1,500 kg (3,306.9 lb.). The new warehouse also includes an area for case picking replenished automatically from the ASRS.

Dematic said its ASRS provides fully automated, high-density, and high-throughput storage for pallets. The company claimed that the system provides complete and real-time visibility of overall inventory, delivering the highest level of accuracy so stock cannot be lost or forgotten. The system also ensures minimal manual handling is needed, reducing product damage and the associated cost and waste, it said.

Safety and expansion as strategic goals

The ASRS can also improve warehouse operator safety by reducing the number of forklift trucks and other materials handling equipment such as pallet movers. This reduces accidents, damage, and injuries to people and equipment, said Dematic.

“Our first priority was safety, and the ASRS plays a crucial role in reducing the occurrence of accidents,” Techapattaraporn said. “Secondly, we were focused on efficiency gains and this was achieved through reducing the storage footprint. Thirdly, PepsiCo wanted increased accuracy and traceability of products so that the warehouse throughput could be increased.”

The company said it designed the system with the future in mind, so PepsiCo can expand it to adapt to changing business requirements. Dematic told Mobile Robot Guide that the design is intended for PepsiCo’s forecast growth to 2028, and it can install three extra ASRS aisles for future growth.

As part of its extensive research and proposal for PepsiCo, Dematic said it also explored additional automation possibilities, including truck-sized outfeed lanes, paperless picking technology, and automated guided vehicles (AGVs) for various tasks within the production and warehouse areas.

Written by

Brianna Wessling

Brianna Wessling is an Associate Editor, Robotics, WTWH Media. She joined WTWH Media in November 2021, and is a recent graduate from the University of Kansas. She can be reached at bwessling@wtwhmedia.com