KPI Solutions  /  Case Studies  /  3PL Cold Storage Facility
THIRD Party Logistics

3PL Cold Storage Facility- 10°F

Design & installation of a fully automated high-bay, rack-supported cold storage facility for a 3PL.

The Challenge

A leading global third-party logistics provider (3PL) of temperature-controlled warehousing and logistics services to the food industry, was operating at 100% capacity in their Rochelle, Illinois facility. They needed to expand their operations and customer base with limited storage space and real estate.

KPI’s Solution

Without enough property to expand out, KPI found a solution to instead expand up with a rack-supported facility. The 14M cubic ft. facility is made up entirely of a racking system that provides structural support for the walls and roof of the building. Rack-supported buildings are an economical solution for high-density storage with a minimal land footprint, and can efficiently integrate with an automated storage and retrieval system (AS/RS).

Driven by Opto WES, KPI’s proprietary warehouse software, this fully automated cold storage system is built to store and distribute frozen foods at the pallet, layer, and case level.

The AS/RS solution provided by KPI consists of:

  • 9 high-bay cranes
  • 3 high-bay pallet shuttle systems
  • 2 gantry layer pickers
  • 2 mini-load cranes
  • 2 high-speed stretch wrappers
  • 4 pallet support board inserters
  • 4 print & apply machines
  • 28 scanners
  • 329 feet of pallet conveyor, and
  • A high-speed monorail system with 50 carts.

The facility has a capacity of 53,000 pallet positions and an annual volume of one billion pounds.

The Results

In this fully automated system, labor is reduced, with freezer staff eliminated except on the docks for loading and unloading. The system automatically allows orders to be picked and shipped at the pallet, layer, and case level. This granularity in selection expands the capabilities of the 3PL company’s customers. The system supports truck and rail receiving, allowing more channels to bring freezer goods into the facility.

Energy reduction is another benefit of the rack-supported facility. No lights equal less heat and can save on electrical costs in the long run. Decreased infiltration into the facility with smaller and faster door openings can help save on freezer energy consumption. Vestibules, airlocks, and small high-speed doors are a few other design features to lower freezer infiltration.

The Value

  • Reduced labor with a fully automated system, staff only needed on the docks for loading & unloading
  • Energy reduction
  • Optimized space utilization and minimal footprint