The Dematic Multishuttle for Freezers

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. 

The Challenges

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 refrigerated storage. 

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.

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