Cargill, USA

Cargill Meat Solutions Corporation transformed their manual protein distribution center into a cost-efficient, automated facility, doubling throughput capacity with dramatic reductions in cost per case handled.

The Challenges

  • Even working 24/7 they were having difficulty filling orders. 
  • Increasing SKU complexity — meats offered by cut, weight, grade and age.
  • Inflexible distribution center had no automation, poor accuracy, high volumes of product damage/ waste and poor delivery. 
  • Fresh beef is a short turnaround item, time-based performance, matching products to orders, managing inventory and shipping are critical elements in order fulfillment. 
  • Potential injury and demanding conditions led to lack of skilled labor and high employee turnover. 

Our Solution 

Once beef is packed in the processing center, it is conveyed through a 600-foot skyway bridge to a new 50,000 square foot distribution building adjacent to processing. The building is essentially a giant refrigerator, with temperatures at a cool 28°F. 

Cases are sorted into lanes in the AS/RS. The mini-load system consists of 20 aisles where 20 cranes handle inbound and outbound cases with 78,000 storage locations. 

Depending on customer needs, some cases are sent through an automated palletizer and stretchwrapping system, while others are diverted to extendable conveyors for direct loading onto outbound trucks. 

The efficient system continuously deposits products into storage while simultaneously picking cases for customer orders.

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