Coca-Cola injects $90m into automation expansion

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Coca-Cola injects $90m into automation expansion

Reveals results of eight-month review.

Coca-Cola Amatil has finally confirmed plans to invest $90 million into the industrial automation of its manufacturing facility at Richlands in Queensland.

The beverage maker today announced the results of a “detailed review” of its Australian supply chain, finding it in need of modernisation and improvement.

As reported by iTnews in August last year, that will result in an injection of funds for automation and other technology at its Richlands manufacturing site. CCA warehouses in Sydney already use automation.

“We need to modernise and invest in new capability across our supply chain to maintain our competitiveness in the market,” CCA group managing director Alison Watkins said in a statement.

“This $90 million investment will optimise our national logistics network and modernise our supply chain with greater use of technology and automation across a wider range of products”.

Watkins said that the $90 million investment came on top of a $75 million investment in the same Queensland facility late last year.

The $75 million project was “intended to deliver a new, expanded and automated warehouse with greater capacity, comparatively lower operating costs and reduced materials handling and truck movements”.

However, the supply chain review did not only produce good news for CCA. It also led to the decision to close its South Australian manufacturing operations in 2019, putting the jobs of 180 staff and contractors in peril.

Production capacity will be picked up at the company's other manufacturing sites.

In separate news, CCA appointed Optus chairman Paul O’Sullivan to a non-executive director role on its board, which he will fill from next month.

The beverage maker said it hoped to tap into O’Sullivan’s “knowledge of digital technology, innovation … and disruption”.

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