Cargill Beefs Up Meat Packing Accuracy

Sept. 7, 2010
Cargill Meat Solutions’ Schuyler, Neb., beef processing plant has replaced its manually operated system with an automated box handling and shipping system from Retrotech, Inc. The system went live over two consecutive weekends.

The new order fulfillment system automates box handling down stream of the case sealers. It receives and buffers boxes upstream of shipping. As orders are processed boxes are automatically retrieved in a precise sequence and either automatically palletized or directly loaded on a semi-trailer. The new system supports 53,000 storage locations and can deliver boxes either on pallets or as a box stream to be floor loaded. The system can also build mixed SKU pallet loads.

Retrotech designed and installed customized software which links the activities of the individual sub-systems while integrating them into Cargill’s business system. The plan required installation of software three-to-four- months ahead of the designated completion date. This allowed Cargill employees to become familiar with the software before it went live.

Cargill provided subject matter experts from their other facilities who had familiarity with the system to help train the Schuyler employees on the new software, significantly reducing the learning curve.

“Within two weeks of going live we set a single day shipping record of more than 39,000 cases,” according to Brett Walters, project manager for Cargill. “The system is currently operating at a greater than 99 percent order accuracy.”