Dot Foods Lowers Costs and Increases Efficiencies


  • Provide dense storage for slow moving inventory 
  • Improve inventory retrievals
  • Eliminate the congestion and inefficiency of current PIR order picking and receiving
  • Improve labor efficiency in the PIR area

Project description

The Dot Foods freezer automation solution includes an Automated Storage & Retrieval System (AS/RS) to replace existing PIR (Planned Item Retrievals) operation for low quantity SKUs. The solution features a front-end conveyor system to improve workflow and create a more labor friendly environment.

When the AS/RS receives requests from the Warehouse Management System (WMS), inventory is automatically retrieved from storage and conveyed to a centralized picking area with operator workstations.

Dematic designed the solution with Dot Foods personnel to ensure both functionality and versatility to accommodate aggressive growth for significantly increased total processing volume.


  • Provides dense storage for freezer items, which results in lower refrigeration costs
  • Provides increased inventory accuracy for PIR items
  • Eliminates need to manually search conventional freezer space for PIR items
  • Allows PIR order selection workers to operate in a lab (not inside the freezer)


The AS/RS storage rack is a free-standing, three aisle system:

  • 3 aisles, 78 bays long and 14 tiers high
  • 6,552 bins, 24 inches wide by 48 inches deep and either 18 inches or 24 inches in height
  • Dividers for bins to allow for multiple SKUs per bin
  • 500-pound bin weight capacity
  • 90,000 cubic feet of total storage
  • 120 bins processed per hour
  • 4 operator workstations
  • Roller conveyor delivers storage pans to operator workstations
  • Pallet conveyor transports picked orders to the shipping dock

Systems used

Storage and Retrieval Machines

The AS/RS features three 750 Storage and Retrieval Machines (SRMs) with variable speed drives and single-deep bin extractor units. The SRM extractors efficiently push and pull bins using handles built into both sides of the bins. This ensures smooth motion when transporting the bins into and out of the storage locations.

Laser guidance positions the SRMs to ensure accuracy. The AS/RS delivers bins to and retrieves them from three end-of-aisle conveyor interfaces.

Roller Conveyor

Roller conveyor connects the AS/RS to the operator workstations. Up to six pans can be queued up in front of each workstation, allowing for a continuous stream of uninterrupted activity.

Control System

Dematic developed and implemented Warehouse Control System (WCS) software for the AS/RS, and it interfaces with the Dot Foods WMS. The WCS maintains inventory accuracy for every item and provides extensive security, management, and diagnostic tools.

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