Thomas Foods Future-Proofs Local Manufacturing at New Facility Rebuild with Dematic

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Media Release

Leading Australian family-owned company Thomas Foods International is set to deploy the Dematic Multishuttle® Meat Buffer and Pallet Automated Storage and Retrieval System (AS/RS) at its new meat processing facility in Murray Bridge, South Australia.

After its original processing plant in Murray Bridge was destroyed by fire in 2018, Thomas Foods International made a commitment to rebuild the plant, “bigger, better and stronger”. Located just eight kilometres from the original site, this new flagship facility, currently under construction, will offer a future-proof, fully optimised supply chain to service local and global demand for decades to come.

As part of its plans to build the new facility to the highest industry standards in technology, efficiency, animal welfare, worker safety and environmental sustainability, Thomas Foods International has partnered with Dematic to deploy its Multishuttle Meat Buffer and Pallet AS/RS. The automated solution will streamline operations to facilitate the start of an advanced, self-sufficient local supply chain.

“Our new Murray Bridge facility has been designed with a focus on efficiency and sustainability of which Dematic’s advanced automation technology is a key component,” said Nekta Nicolaou, Group Engineering Manager at Thomas Foods International.

With its capabilities to accommodate the meat industry — operating in both frozen and chilled environments — the Dematic Multishuttle Meat Buffer and AS/RS allows for the transfer of product cartons between aisles without the use of a traditional conveyor system, which increases overall flexibility and system throughput within Thomas Foods International facility.

“With the current flood of demand for local product, this solution will improve Thomas Foods International’s in-house operations by providing a high-performance order fulfilment and despatch processing system,” said Soeren Schauki, Business Development Manager at Dematic. “Even after the devastation of losing its previous facility, Thomas Foods International’s ambition to transform the new facility has positioned them as a leader for innovation in the industry, now with a self-sufficient, sustainable and resilient supply chain.”

Construction and commissioning of the first stage of the new plant is expected to be a 24-month process with the build reaching completion in late 2022.