Unilever and US Cold Storage hosted a grand opening in Covington TN to showcase their new frozen distribution center (DC), which connects to Unilever’s existing 815,000-square-foot production facility with a 312-foot corridor kept at –20 degrees F.
Combined, the two facilities create one of the largest ice cream manufacturing and distribution facilities in the world.
“USCS is not one to shy away from trying something new and innovative,” said Mike Lynch, vice-president of engineering. “Our newest warehouse in Covington represents several important firsts. It is our first plant-attached warehouse. [It is] our first highly automated warehouse, employing a sophisticated inbound product pallet handling system, AGVs, and automated storage and retrieval cranes. It is US Cold’s most energy-efficient and sustainable operation designed according to the US Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) program. I’m proud to say that Covington is in consideration for official LEED Silver Certification.”
Other key members of the design build team for the project included: Primus Builders Inc, IA Interior Architects, A2H Engineers, Primus Design Services, Shine Electrical Group, and Republic Refrigeration Inc. The selected team won the National Award of Merit for the project from the Design Build Institute of America earlier in 2015 and is up for nomination for even more accolades in December.
The Swisslog solution, designed specifically to operate in subzero temperatures, includes Vectura Cranes, Conveyor, and Automatic Guided Vehicles (AGVs).
Markus Schmidt, senior vice-president of Swisslog WDS Americas, said, “I am honored that we were selected to be part of such a prestigious team dedicated to installing an energy-efficient and sustainable operation. Having installed more than 250 automatic stacker cranes that serve over 600,000 pallet locations within temperature-controlled storage in the United Sates alone, we have been able to perfect our cold storage solutions to meet the needs of today’s most demanding warehouse environments.”
For more information, see www.swisslog.com/na.