Gloucester robotics company helps retailer get more wine to customers faster


Gloucester-based robotics business, CKF has designed, installed and commissioned an extensive new case feed and palletising system for Laithwaites wine, an established, thriving e-commerce and retail business also based in Gloucester. The new system enabled Laithwaites to handle a 50 per cent increase in demand during 2020 and improve productivity from 65 per cent to a phenomenal 98 per cent.

For more than 50 years Tony Laithwaite and the team at Laithwaites wines have been selling quality wine from around the world.

An increase in customer demand for online purchasing meant the ageing plant at their Gloucester facility, which had served them well, was no longer fully supporting their needs. They called in CKF  to develop and deliver a new automated palletising solution to meet their current and projected future requirements.

LaithwaitesCKF2[4]CKF are leaders in automated palletising and case handling with more than 30 years’ experience supporting different industries.. The engineering team a proposed a new fully automated layer palletising system with a multi-lane accumulation feed system mounted on a new mezzanine floor.

Laithwaites wine distribution from the Gloucester facility is defined by online and retail sales, delivery routes, carriers, regions and time to consumer. This requires the filled cases of wine to be automatically sorted and placed onto the correct pallet to be shipped through the correct carrier.

The new CKF fully automated system was installed and commissioned in two phases. Providing a significant increase in productivity to 98 per cent, the benefits of the new system configuration have also enabled Laithwaites Wine to handle a substantial increase in throughput, reduce excessive manual handling and relocate the remaining manual processes into the area below the mezzanine floor and away from busy trucking routes, providing increased safety for their employees.

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