Liquor Distributor Meets Sudden Market Demands With 11-day, Order-to-Installation Conveyor System

Due to sudden demand for micro-brewed beer, the company needed a new system in under two weeks, and got it

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The client:

Barrett-Hamilton Company & Glazer’s Wholesale Distribution.

SIC Code: 5181, 5182


Beer, wine and liquor distribution center

The situation:

Barrett-Hamilton, a Little Rock-based distributor of distilled spirits, wines, and popular beers, wanted to capitalize on the burgeoning consumer demand for microbrewed beers. It needed a conveyor system up and running - and it needed it fast.

The impact:

The company’s distribution facility did not have the conveyor capacity needed to handle such a major expansion to its existing product line.

Solution implemented:

Working with Cisco-Eagle, Barrett-Hamilton developed a straightforward and highly efficient response to the challenge. The new system incorporates minimum-pressure power conveyors and curves, an incline, and a rugged skatewheel diverter that streamlines the flow of orders to the delivery docks. All of the equipment is seamlessly integrated to facilitate order flow.

One particular feature of the project merits special attention: the tight time frame. Complete installation - from initial order to final implementation and testing - took only 11 days. Barrett-Hamilton was able to achieve this kind of turnaround by ordering the equipment and components from Hytrol’s FasTrak Distribution Center. The FasTrak Center can provide 24-hour shipping on more than 50 conveyor models in over 2,400 sizes.

The new conveyor system moves full-case quantities of micro beers from a ground-level storage area to a quality control station on the mezzanine. All orders need to pass through this station prior to loading on the delivery trucks.

For the full-case pick line, Cisco-Eagle installed 100 feet of minimum-pressure horizontal power conveyor (190-ACC) with a feeder belt at the end. An incline conveyor (190-RB) carries the orders up to the mezzanine level. There a live roller curve conveyor (190-LRC) moves them onto a reversible belt conveyor, which is the quality control station. Two other pick lines also merge at the quality control station.

After passing a thorough inspection, all of the orders move through an accumulation conveyor, down a decline conveyor and onto high density skatewheel curves en route to the shipping area. At this point, Barrett-Hamilton had been having a problem with cases jamming and not diverting properly. To address this situation and to accommodate the volume added by the micro brew line, Cisco-Eagle added a "Y" switch divert with high-density skatewheels and manual plow. This Hytrol unit provides a simple method of smoothly converging or diverting product from one line to another without jamming or back up.

The results:

Barrett-Hamilton now provides a wide range of micro brews to its retail customers, thereby capitalizing on an important new business opportunity. And a basic conveyor system---fully installed in less than two weeks - helped make it possible.

Facility information:

  • Products Distributed: Beer, wine, liquor
  • Total Square Feet: 56,000
  • Number of employees: 8 order pullers per shift
  • Maximum daily throughput: 5,600 cartons per day
  • Key material handling hardware: Minimum-pressure horizontal and curve conveyors, along with incline conveyors..