Walmart will soon break ground on its first highly automated distribution center for fresh and frozen groceries, and it expects product quality will improve as a result.
The distribution center will move 40% more product than a traditional model, and the new technology stacking boxes and building pallets is sensitive enough to take proper care of delicate produce items like strawberries, according to a news release.
“Every product is measured and documented so that we know how to handle it,” Shayne Wahlmeier, an engineer on the project, said in the release. “A computer algorithm shows all the cases ordered for a given store and determines how to palletize them to maximize the space on a pallet or trailer. It also takes into account density — what’s crushable, what’s not.”
The result is more flexible, dense pallet, allowing for more products on each truck, according to Walmart.