US Foods is one of the largest American distributors of dried and frozen foods for commercial customers such as restaurants, hospitals, food markets, airports, and many other public institutions. The company’s warehouse receives pallets full of goods that are stored in different shelves. Customer orders are received daily and must be processed by 2pm. At approximately 6pm every day of the week, the team of workers starts the picking process using electric transpallets and takes the products from the shelves to complete the order.
Up to 60 pallets can reach the loading bay between the second and third hour of picking. In the past, this packaging process was carried out entirely manually. Once the load is wrapped, the pallets are loaded onto trailers for deliveries to be carried out first thing in the morning. All deliveries must be completed by 9am for customers to start their work day. Deliveries at any later time will not be accepted since it will hinder service to the end customer.
US Foods also had to deal with palletised products that had suffered damage, resulting in customer returns and the necessary replacement. One order processed twice, with an additional delivery cost and a dissatisfied customer. Therefore, Robopac USA suggested using robot stretch wrappers to replace manual wrapping and to improve efficiency, thus reducing costs of film and labor. However, the greatest savings was the significant reduction in damaged products.
Robopac USA has developed an efficient “grid” system for robot stretch wrappers. Operators involved in collecting orders and burdened with the challenging task can now return more quickly to collecting orders. Thank to Cube Technology and multi-level control by Robopac, the new method perfectly wraps any load configuration successfully, even if they are unstable and uneven. The Robot S7 has improved efficiency of the overall operating process and significant labor savings for US Foods. Moreover, the innovation has enabled each shift to finish early, thus improving the quality of life of operators and enabling the delivery trucks to leave and return early.