Inside Logistics

Heaven Hill Brands chooses Westfalia Technologies

Automated storage and retrieval system (AS/RS) integrated with a layer pick system will optimize storage and processing of full pallet and layer-picked orders of liquor products


July 29, 2016
by MM&D Online Staff

York, Pennsylvania—Heaven Hill Brands has chosen Westfalia Technologies, Inc to automate its Bardstown, Kentucky facility.

Using Westfalia’s automated storage and retrieval system (AS/RS) integrated with a layer pick system, Heaven Hill will optimize the storage and processing of full pallet and layer-picked orders of liquor product.

Founded in 1935, Heaven Hill is the largest independent, family-owned and operated spirits producer and marketer in the US and the world’s second-largest holder of Kentucky Bourbon.

With an increased sales volume, a warehouse operating at full capacity and limited expansion options, Heaven Hill turned to Westfalia for a solution that would meet its throughput requirements, provide buffer storage for top SKUs and offer the operational efficiencies to sustain continued growth.

Westfalia designed an AS/RS that will maximize storage capacity within Heaven Hill’s existing site – the spirits producer will be able to store pallet loads nine levels high in a high-density, conventional building configuration. The rack structure will cover three aisles with more than 27,000 pallet rack positions, serviced by four tandem-pallet storage retrieval machines (S/RMs).

The system will have storage blocks of multiple storage lane depths, including two outside storage blocks that can hold six pallets deep and middle storage blocks that hold up to 10 pallets. Heaven Hill will have the flexibility to configure the middle storage blocks with varying lane depths, based upon inventory levels of each SKU.

The combination of the AS/RS and layer pick system will allow Heaven Hill to seamlessly convey pallets from palletizing to storage and to truck-staging lanes, thereby streamlining the entire order fulfillment process. Westfalia’s Warehouse Execution System (WES), will direct all activities in the warehouse and provide real-time inventory visibility and tracking.

Dan Labell, president of Westfalia Technologies, said, “One of the key benefits of a high-density AS/RS is its ability to improve space utilization in an existing facility without the need for costly expansion, new construction or off-site storage. This is especially appealing to the wine and spirits industry, as many producers and distributors, like Heaven Hill, are operating at maximum capacity, while handling a growing number of SKUs.”

Heaven Hill’s automated system will go live in October 2017.