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Thriving in the Cold

01 December 2021

Flexible automation to meet changing demands on temperature-controlled facilities.

It’s no secret that the Covid-19 pandemic changed the nation’s grocery shopping habits. With rising safety concerns and no option to dine out, consumers took to online shopping to stock up their fridge-freezers and eat at home instead.

This fluctuation in consumer expectations calls for flexible automation in food and beverage logistics. This is particularly important in temperature-controlled facilities where energy costs are high, and an uncertain labour market is worsened with harsh working conditions.

Automating to thrive

When it comes to cold storage automation there is no single solution that meets the requirements of every facility. Automation should be tailored to product type, throughput, and desired density. It’s also important to consider the automation control platform offered by the automation vendor.

“Stand-alone automation control systems can create data silos while forcing operators to adapt to different interfaces for each system,” Shane explains. “A modular automation platform that integrates automation control into the WMS platform, such as Swisslog’s SynQ, is much more suitable for this environment.” This approach enables increased use of data for system optimization and business intelligence and supports a universal operator interface across the warehouse.

“The primary solutions used in deep-freeze or temperature-controlled warehouses include pallet cranes, pallet shuttles, pallet conveyors and automated carton handling systems,” Shane says.

Meeting the energy efficiency, low labour, and high throughput requirements in today’s cold storage warehouse can best be accomplished with strong collaboration across the building designer, automation provider and operator.

To discover more about Swisslog automated solutions for temperature-controlled warehouses, visit https://www.swisslog.com/Temp-Controlled-HSS