Based on the highly successful Dematic Multishuttle Automated Storage and Retrieval System (AS/RS), this solution — which has been deployed by meat processors in refrigerated environments around the globe — provides a range of advantages over manual distribution and shipping.
Meat processors may generate
several hundred different
products or stock keeping units
(SKUs). A few of the products are
high volume. However, a large
proportion of the SKU range
generate very low volumes.
In a typical meat processing
plant, after initial processing the
various SKUs are assembled into
batches for further refinement and/
or packaging. Individual SKUs are
then assembled for packing into
shipping cartons, frozen, or chilled
(depending on requirements),
then palletized and placed into
However, with such a high proportion
of the SKU range being relatively low
volume, there is often the need for
partial pallets. These are brought in
from a frozen or chilled environment
into another temperature
environment to consolidate cartons
on a single SKU pallet as they are
received from production.
Alternatively if mixed SKU pallets
are formed, this can make it very
difficult to locate individual SKUs at
a later stage.
Full pallets of fast-moving SKUs
are generally loaded directly into
temperature-controlled vehicles for
local delivery, or hand-stacked into
refrigerated shipping containers
(reefers) for export orders.
Lower volume SKUs need to be
manually retrieved from either single
SKU part pallets or mixed stock
pallets, and palletized onto a new
multi-SKU shipping pallet, or loaded
into the reefer. This highly laborintensive
process has significant
potential for errors and product
damage during manual handing.
Shipping volumes can also vary
greatly from day to day. This means
high staff levels are required for peak
periods, which can lead to low levels
of labor efficiency at other times.