Coca-Cola invests in robots in Hungary to improve its logistics processes

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Coca-Cola Hungary, the country’s largest soft drink producer, recently invested more than 750 million forints to improve its logistics processes. The company’s central warehouse in Dunaharaszti, Hungary, is the first among Hungarian food industry operators to install artificial intelligence robots, which will help improve the efficiency of picking and increase the accuracy of customer service.

With forward-thinking technological innovations, the company is taking an important step toward establishing the Coca-Cola Group’s largest Central European production site in Hungary, covering 29 countries.

Coca-Cola Hungary is committed to supporting its business through continuous improvement in all areas of the value chain. Over the past 26 years, the company has invested more than 125 billion forints in the country, establishing two production sites and eight logistics centers, directly or indirectly creating jobs and livelihoods for thousands of people. Groundbreaking technological solutions supporting digitization and automation are also being applied to the warehousing process, making customer service more accurate and faster.

László Békefi, Managing Director of Coca-Cola HBC Hungary

In 2022, the company installed robots controlled by artificial intelligence at its central warehouse in Dunaharaszt as part of an investment worth HUF 730 million. The development of robotic picking is considered a unique logistical innovation for the domestic food industry.

Part of the logistics involved in the picking process now takes place in a 1,000-square-meter area, completely isolated from workers, where the assembly, palletizing and packaging of products from the production line is carried out by three autonomous robotic arms, forklifts and small vehicles called “shark cars” that can think independently.

The technology manages the company’s 20 most popular products precisely according to their location in the warehouse. Three robotic arms can assemble six pallets per hour, working more than twice as fast as a human. Thanks to their indefatigability, these robots can perform the equivalent of up to four loaders in the same amount of time. While the technology helps with pickup tasks during the workday, on weekends it will prepare mixed pallets for the company’s largest customer partners in a predetermined order. It is planned that the robot will perform more than 15 percent of the special picking and packing tasks for the more than 700 million liters of finished goods that Dunaharaszt warehouses turn over each year.

“We are proud that we are the first to bring this unique logistics innovation to Hungary and the domestic food industry.”

László Békefi, Managing Director of Coca-Cola HBC Hungary, said at the press conference announcing the investment, “Our goal is to build a modern production site in Dunaharaszti that meets the technological requirements of the 21st century and makes us a leading player in the country in the region. Thanks to the symbiosis of human and robotic resources in the warehouse, we are now able to increase our roving picking efficiency by 15%, which allows us to respond faster and more accurately to the evolving needs of our customer partners.”

The introduction of newly introduced robotic picking technology isn’t the only efficiency-enhancing development in the life of the company that supports digitalization. Since 2020, Coca-Cola HBC Magyarország warehouse employees have been performing roving picking with the help of smart glasses and preparing customer partners’ orders for delivery based on voice-controlled commands. Technology using artificial intelligence has improved the quality of product picking, making efficiency measurable and developable, and allowing further system-level improvements through data analysis.

Thanks to the investment, 24 people can use smart glasses to work safely in the field of tourist picking at the same time.

In Dunaharaszt’s central warehouse, they currently work with 38 smart glasses and thanks to the development, tour picking is 99.9% accurate and order preparation is 10% more efficient. The company spent a total of HUF 21 million on this investment.

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