CASE KROGER —

Revolutionizing the dairy industry with cutting-edge warehouse automation

To deliver exeptional quality and freshness to its customers, Kroger sought to build its first new fluid milk plant in more than 20 years, with the goal to provide an avenue for innovation in the dairy category.

Kroger also wanted a state-of-the-art facility with a low reliance on the human involvement in order to minimize the facility workers’ exposure to injury and work-related strain. The new facility had to meet the requirements of Kroger’s zero-waste-tolandfill initiative, which began more than three years ago, in addition to conserving water and facility floor space and being energy-efficient.

Solution

After reviewing best practices from around the world, Kroger selected Cimcorp Group (Cimcorp), a manufacturer and integrator of turnkey robotic gantry-based order fulfillment and tire handling solutions, to help meet these goals and overcome the challenges of traditionally designed facilities. Additionally, Kroger favored Cimcorp’s simplistic designs and long, successful track record in the industry. Cimcorp’s automation solutions have been tested and implemented in 40 countries across five continents and are designed to reduce operating costs, ensure traceability and improve efficiency—all qualities that Kroger wanted to achieve with its facility.

End-to-end solution with Cimcorp

Cimcorp developed a comprehensive, end-to-end automated warehouse solution for Kroger’s Mountain View Foods facility that is centered around Cimcorp MultiPick, a fully automated, robotic production storage, handling and order processing system. The system can store up to 36,000 crates, and is able to pick 32,000 crates per day. Located in Denver, the facility officially opened on Memorial Day weekend 2014 and now services about 160 stores in two states. The 215,000-squarefoot facility processes fresh conventional and organic milk in half-gallon and gallon containers, and packages aseptically processed milk, creams and juices in quart-sized and smaller bottles.

About Kroger

The Kroger Company (Kroger)(NYSE:KR) is one of the world’s largest grocery retailers with fiscal 2014 sales of $108.5 billion. Kroger runs 37 manufacturing plants that produce about 40 percent of the corporate brand units sold in its stores throughout the United States.

Kroger is seeing a dramatic difference between its traditional, manual facility and the Mountain View Foods’ automated system through increased efficiencies and rapid handling, reduced labor costs and errors, and product traceability.

Challenges

  • To build its first new fluid milk plant in more than 20 years with cutting-edge technology.
  • Increase product shelf life by providing fresher products, faster.
  • Cost-saving, energy-efficient facility that also met its zero-wasteto- landfill initiative.

Solution

  • Cimcorp partnered with Kroger to provide warehouse automation designs, which were incorporated into Mountain View Foods in Denver.
  • Developed a comprehensive, end-to-end, automated system with a warehouse management system (WMS), robotic gantries, integrated software and an inter-platform communications system.

Benefit & Results

  • 100-percent order accuracy and product traceability.
  • Increased efficiencies and rapid handling, and reduced labor costs and errors.

Read our Experts Talking Dairy Automation

Read more on Flow

The Cimcorp MultiPick solution precisely controls the entire material flow of the facility and provides Kroger with rapid material handling, flexible use of space, easy cleaning and improved labor savings. This end-to-end solution allows for the automatic operation to collect vast amounts of data and execute detailed analysis of both dispatch operations and production planning.

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