Keeping it cold

Tuesday, 07 February, 2017

Keeping it cold

A new automated, robotic, temperature-controlled storage facility is gaining clients in the Southern Hemisphere.

McCain has joined Fonterra in committing to NewCold’s new temperature-controlled storage facility at Truganina, 15 km outside Melbourne. The US$100 million automated cold storage warehouse is due to open for business in autumn 2017. After establishing its Asia–Pacific headquarters in Melbourne’s west, Dutch-based cold storage and logistics company NewCold is looking to expand its business in New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong, as well as other locations in Australia.

NewCold’s Truganina facility will feature high-level automation, creating jobs in IT, engineering, software development and management. It is anticipated that the facility will  create 127 full-time jobs.

The facility features a new-generation ‘high bay’ design whose height allows for more efficient use of space and for savings on floor slabs and footprint. The facility will also incorporate oxygen-reduction fire safety technology and state-of-the-art systems to significantly lower electricity consumption when compared with conventional cold storage warehouses.

For receipt, storage and subsequent retrieval of palletised products, the warehouse will use unmanned stacker cranes, conveyors and automated truck unloading systems, all together capable of handling more than 11,000 pallet movements per day, allowing users to efficiently move stock out of the warehouse to their customers more efficiently than ever before.

Users of the cold chain facility will also have access to continuous feedback on performance, service and efficiency, allowing for continuous improvement through its supply and delivery methods. The focus will be on recruiting local employees to staff the facility, with extensive skills and technology training for employees to ensure they can manage the facility at maximum efficiency.

NewCold’s temperature-controlled storage facility will feature two warehouses: a fully automated, 34 m-high cold storage warehouse with eight double-satellite stacker cranes and a fully automated, 34 m-high chilled storage warehouse with six double-satellite and four single-satellite stacker cranes

NewCold awarded the contract to build the two high-bay cold storage facilities to Dematic.

The automated cold storage facilities will include ColbyRack high-bay racking which is capable of housing 100,000 and 106,000 pallets. Various pallet weights and configurations will be deployed within each facility up to a maximum pallet weight of 1265 kg. The ColbyRack components, comprising more than 8500 tonnes of roll-formed Bluescope G450 grade steel, were locally manufactured at Dematic’s factory in Belrose, Sydney.

Cold storage warehouse

  • Fully automated, 34 m-high cold storage warehouse
  • Eight double-satellite stacker cranes
  • Footprint of 176 x 100 m
  • Total storage capacity: 102,816 Australian CHEP pallets
  • Storage area and loading docks temperature: -23°C
  • FEFO handling with a capacity of >10,000 pallets per day.
  • >900 pallet shipment buffer zone, minimising waiting time for trucks before loading
  • 19 docks (two allocated for automatic truck unloading)
  • Equipped for container loading and unloading
  • Open 24 h

Chilled storage warehouse   

  • Fully automated, 34 m-high chilled storage warehouse
  • Six double-satellite and four single-satellite stacker cranes.
  • Footprint of 170 x 140 m
  • Total storage capacity: 110,612 Australian CHEP pallets
  • Storage area and loading docks at different chilled environments (+2°C, +8°C and +11°C)
  • FEFO handling with a capacity of >10,000 pallets per day
  • >1100 pallet shipment buffer zone, so there is minimal waiting time for trucks before loading
  • 30 docks
  • Container yard capable of storing 700 TEU
  • Open 24 h

The big players are already signing up

The mix of efficiency, speed, sustainability and automation has enticed some big names to sign up to the facility already.

Starting in July 2017, NewCold will manage the storage and handling of McCain’s frozen products as part of a 10-year agreement.

McCain Foods ANZ Supply Chain Director Taso Kourou stated that this facility upgrade would drastically improve logistics capabilities, meeting the needs of local and international customers demanding improved efficiency from production to distribution of frozen products. “The storage and handling of McCain’s frozen products in the new automated facility will give us a more stable temperature regime and highly accurate stock control,” said Kourou.

McCain Food’s regional president for Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, India & China, Louis Wolthers, said the McCain team is keen to see the outcomes of the new agreement take effect. “From a sustainability perspective, through the use of the warehouses’ highly controlled in-and-outflows combined with efficient cooling equipment, energy usage per pallet stored is up to 50% lower compared to a conventional storage option.”

Fonterra Australia has also signed a 10-year warehouse service agreement with NewCold and will consolidate its Australian distribution network and six warehouses under the one facility in Melbourne.

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