IRN-BRU Manufacturer AG Barr Goes Electric With Jungheinrich


Leading soft drink manufacturer, AG Barr plc, based in Cumbernauld, Scotland has partnered with intralogistics expert Jungheinrich to support their sustainability goals.

To facilitate business growth, AG Barr established the need to renew their forklift fleet across their warehouses in line with their sustainability and health & safety objectives. AG Barr has entered into a long-term partnership with Jungheinrich to introduce a new 70 strong forklift all-electric fleet this year.

AG Barr’s drive for sustainability and efficiency led to a move away from LPG powered trucks, upgrading to a fully electric fleet using a combination of Lithium-ion technology and conventional battery powered vehicles. Where opportunity charging was not possible, Jungheinrich provided its industry leading 2 shift 1 charge battery system allowing for maximum uptime whilst minimising charging times. The combination of Lithium-ion technology and opportunity charging enables continuous operation of the fleet 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and as Lithium-ion batteries do not emit any gasses during charging, the need for expensive exhaust systems at charging stations was removed.

Jungheinrich used its in-house Electrical Infrastructure team, engaging with AG Barr at every stage using advanced technology to ensure there was sufficient charging power available for when the fleet arrived. In addition, Jungheinrich supplied both trial and demonstration vehicles and electrical charging infrastructure across multiple AG Barr sites to help AG Barr’s team become familiar with the electric fleet before its arrival.

AG Barr has a high standard for their health and safety, and this was at the forefront of the decision making for the project. It was vital that Jungheinrich could accommodate and support them in continuing to be a leader in not only health and safety, but also productivity as a result. Jungheinrich worked closely with the AG Barr team to create a bespoke fleet that included a Halo light safety system and a suite of camera systems which show Driver Cab View and front and rear views.

The rear camera system features a slowdown pedestrian detection system, bringing the truck to crawl speeds when it identifies a pedestrian within the danger zone parameters. The bespoke trucks also have an integrated speed zone system, meaning that the truck automatically slows down when it enters the warehouse, further supporting health and safety measures.

Jungheinrich also provided bespoke double pallet handler attachments, as each area of the business needs a specific criteria due to the AG Barr’s product range, and seven ECE Low Level Order Picker machines with the ‘Easy Pilot Follow’ feature were installed. The Easy Pilot Follow feature allows drivers to pick and put product on the pallets whilst the truck autonomously moves with the operator. This significantly decreases the pick time and reduces wasted time getting on and off the truck.

For AG Barr, switching to Lithium-ion immediately reduced the levels of air and noise pollution within the indoor spaces enabling a cleaner and more pleasant working environment. Manual handling was reduced too, with no need for gas cylinder changes, giving AG Barr’s team increased uptime to meet high demand faster.

Additionally, Jungheinrich have created two bespoke wrapped lithium-ion trucks, specifically for AG’s popular brand, IRN-BRU. The machines include the famous IRN-BRU branding, colour and logo and have been cleverly named ‘Lithium-Ion-Bru’.  These are a centerpiece within the warehouse and complement the already well-known branding.

Karl Donnan, Supply Chain Director at AG Barr said: “Our partnership with Jungheinrich has enabled us to have a forklift fleet across all our warehouses which is safer, more efficient and contributes towards our environmental sustainability ambition to become a carbon net zero business. The Jungheinrich team worked with us to ensure we identified the solutions which best fit our needs, and their latest technology solutions give us step-change improvements in all aspects of performance.”

Neil Warren, Director Region One at Jungheinrich, says: “We are delighted that our Lithium-ion and battery technology transition will help AG Barr move toward a more sustainable operating model. This provides huge environmental and economic benefits including efficiency and productivity gains. With our passion for delivering sustainable solutions that complement business objectives, it has been a pleasure to work with AG Barr on the upgrade and renewal of its warehouse fleet. AG Barr has been a great partner for us, and we look forward to continuing that relationship.”