Chennai-based Alstrut is into automation and material handling solutions since the last 12 years. The company is into modernization of existing plants and automation of specific operations. Leading FMCG companies like Unilever, ITC, P&G and a few others are their clients. Speaking to Packaging South Asia, Anuj Bihani, director, says, “In today’s modern trade there is a stringent requirement of traceability and clients are very specific about the dispatch and manufactured products.”
“Thus, we offer complete traceability solutions with barcode scanning and details about the product destined for a particular retailer or distributor. With the help of barcodes in each of the packs, we can record details in the database which contains information about the date of manufacture, batch number, MRP code, which city this product has been manufactured in and few other details like transportation and operators who load the product at the warehouse. While shipping the individual packs, we can verify whether the correct materials are shipped out or not. Every pack has different rates depending upon the region.
All the packs look identical and inappropriate dispatch can cause heavy losses,” says Bihani.
At the Automation Expo 2016 held from 22 to 25 August at Bombay Exhibition Centre, Mumbai, the company launched two products – complex robotic arms and automated gadget vehicle (AGV). The robotic arm displayed is a suitable product for the FMCG industry to pick up the packs and place them on conveyor belts. Moreover, the robotic arm cannot handle load more than 10 kgs. The main advantage of this robot is that it can work next to a human. An operator can place pallets on an AGV and after pallets are filled they can be located in a warehouse. We have built a lot of intelligence into an AGV, and it can take a decision whether it has to go/halt or change the direction. With the wireless communication, a factory supervisor can easily track the AGV and instruct the company to follow another track or call it back for maintenance.
“In any manufacturing technology where the high quantities are difficult to manage and dispatch with the right quantity at the right location, automation can be helpful,” concludes Bhinai. All such technologies displayed at the Automation Expo prove to be an effective investment to work in an error-free environment.