USA –American based global food company Smithfield Foods has opened an automated, next-generation distribution center in Olathe, Kansas in an effort to expand its distribution capabilities in the United States.
The distribution center was designed and built by Lineage Logistics, LLC, the world’s largest and most innovative temperature-controlled REIT and logistics solutions provider.
Spanning nearly 20 million cubic feet with over 62,000 pallet positions, the distribution center’s innovations provide new levels of operational efficiency and reliability via automation.
The facility is equipped with 18 automated cranes that move inventory into, out of and within the facility, which also features one of the largest temperature-controlled layer-picking systems in the world.
A Lineage-designed robotics and software system fully automates over 97% of the product movement through the facility.
Lineage sponsored academic research in mathematics to determine how to schedule and dispatch components in the facility, increasing throughput capability.
Computer vision systems automatically identify the contents of each pallet, decreasing the building footprint.
Layer-pickers, on the other hand, disassemble and reassemble pallets of goods, a process previously performed manually.
The facility also features Lineage’s patented blast cell technology that reduces freeze time and energy use by approximately one-half relative to traditional blast cells.
This aligns with Smithfield pledged to become carbon negative, reduce GHG emissions 30% and halve food waste in its U.S. company owned operations by 2030.
“We are thrilled to announce the opening of the state-of-the-art facility that Lineage designed and built for Smithfield in Olathe,” said Greg Lehmkuhl, President and CEO of Lineage.
“At Lineage, we seek to partner with customers who are dedicated to transforming the food supply chain and, by leveraging our innovation and expertise, Smithfield will optimize their operations for speed and efficiency.”
In addition to state-of-the-art software inside the building, the facility features Lineage Link™, a customer experience platform that provides Smithfield unprecedented access, visibility and control to their product.
With the ability to see inventory levels and receive timely alerts, Smithfield can place the necessary orders and schedule the shipments to ensure their product reaches consumers when it is needed.
This platform in turn seamlessly interacts with the operating software to ensure the tasks are prioritized for the requisite appointments to maintain the highest level of throughput and productivity.
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