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Ocado agrees new warehouse site with Kroger as Germany’s largest supermarket deploys robotics

Kroger

Supermarkets are furthering their use of automation as Edeka deploys a new automation solution in its largest ever distribution centre in western Germany, while Ocado has agreed a new site for its partnership with Kroger.

Located in Oberhausen-Waldteich, the distribution centre will offer a total floor area of 90,000 square metres and will go into operation this year. The warehouse will offer space for around 16,000 product lines, including fresh, frozen and dry, supplying 400 branches and stores.

The site will make use of Cimcorp’s automated food storage and order picking system, which consists of independent automation modules. These can be independently shut down for cleaning while the rest of the solution runs normally.

The solution includes overhead robots which handle food crates which are stacked on the floor.

Peter Bayer, project manager for logistics and organisation at Edeka Oberhausen, said: “For us efficiency, costs and ergonomics were decisive when we decided on Cimcorp as an experienced automation provider for our fruit and vegetable distribution.

“Since millions of people rely on the safety of their food, everything from the field to the table has to be perfect. We expect an extremely high availability of fresh products from Cimcorp, as these are extremely time-critical and sensitive.”

Kai Tuomisaari, Cimcorp’s VP of sales, said: “When dealing with food, and especially with perishable products, accuracy and reliability are essential. The simplest rules of first-in-first-out methods add up in securing consumer safety. Automation also secures employee safety, because robots do all the heavy lifting and repetitive tasks that often lead to debilitating injuries.”

Meanwhile, US supermarket Kroger has agreed a new site where it will use Ocado’s robotic picking and packing technology.

The new automated distribution centre will be located in Phoenix, the capital of Arizona in the south-west of the USA.

Measuring at 20,000 square feet, the site is expected to become operational 24 months after breaking ground.

The two companies agreed back in October to build 20 fulfilment centres across the country. Other sites have already been announced, including in Ohio, the West, Pacific Northwest and Great Lakes regions.

Ocado has other international customers including Casino (France), Coles (Australia) and Empire (Canada).