United Dairy Farms Upgrades Existing Storage System with Westfalia

Erlanger, KY: A combination of the old and the new is helping to bring efficiency to a warehouse facility here owned and operated by United Dairy Farmers.

The plant upgrades, completed by York, PA-based Westfalia Technologies, utilize the Savanna.NET warehouse management system, and also represent the first non-Westfalia storage system retrofit in the U.S. market, interfacing the new software package with an existing Woodson storage system.

Based in Cincinnati, United Dairy Farmers (UDF) has been producing frozen desserts since 1939, with a line that includes Homemade Brand Premium Ice Cream and United Dairy Farmers Milk and Ice Cream products.

The existing storage system, which replenishes pick lanes and fills pallet orders, along with its accompanying control software, were installed as part of a 1995 expansion at UDF's Erlanger facility, a warehousing and distribution point for both United and third-party products.

According to Dale Torline, systems manager for UDF, a company-wide directive to update support hardware subsequently prompted the exploration of new software technologies.

The Woodson system ran on the database side of the Progress platform, explains Torline, and Progress was prompting us to upgrade at the server level, as well as the database level. Although our plant system was functional, it was based on a non-supported platform. So although we opted to keep the warehouse equipment and crane hardware, a major component of our legacy modernization strategy was new control software.

Savanna.NET is a modular WMS software system, and can be adapted to into existing or new systems. The tabbed data grid view user interface eliminates the need for complicated menus or layers, and is based on actual objects.

Savanna.NET was designed using Microsoft SQL Server 2000 and Version 2.0 of the Microsoft .NET Framework (UDF is running Savanna.NET on SQL Server 2005). It can be readily adapted to all customary ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) and PLC (Programmable Logic Controller) systems so that all existing technology/hardware and hardware/software interfaces can remain in full use.

We chose Savanna.NET because it delivered the combination of cost-effectiveness, support and functionality we were looking for, Torline adds. We also knew that Westfalia had experience with Woodson systems, and also had a number of employees who were formerly associated with the company, which made the transition much easier.

Torline also notes, that, despite some initial interfacing issues, the systems have continued to work in tandem successfully. Were an i Series/ AS/400 shop, so everything is very integrated, he says. Anyone can access a live snapshot of the inventory in the Westfalia system, so that interface has worked out very well.

Future upgrades will include the addition of the full order pick module.

This installation was a real litmus test, for Savanna.NET says Ryan Smith, Westfalia Technologies. Not only for the effectiveness of the software itself, but also for its effectiveness in being able to integrate with an existing system. Westfalia will continue to provide comprehensive updates to the program in order to bring customers increased system flexibility and user-friendliness.

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