The Alliance Group’s plant in Lorneville, near Invercargill.
A new, fully integrated $ 16 million warehouse management and storage system is expected to improve worker health and safety at Alliance Group’s Lorneville site near Invercargill.
The program, the latest in a series of major investments planned in Lorneville, will introduce the automation of the warehouse system and laser-guided vehicles for the storage and retrieval of frozen products.
A spokesperson said the technology being installed is coming from Dunedin’s Scott Technology company, but the project would result in significant work for local businesses.
Lorneville was the first Alliance plant to install the technology, but the company is exploring the possibility of deploying it to its other sites, the spokesperson said.
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Alliance Group chief executive David Surveyor said the plant’s current frozen food warehouse operation is over 30 years old.
“The warehouse management system will improve the health and safety of our employees, allow the cooperative to take greater advantage of the advantages of scale and increase the efficiency and competitiveness of the plant.
“About 66 people are needed to work in the operation during peak processing and manual handling of the fresh product. With each box weighing around 22kg, this poses a risk of muscle and skeletal injury to employees. ”
He said the new system would result in greater efficiency and better handling of cartons and products.
“There will be reduced use of forklifts and fewer cases of conveyor blockages, resulting in downtime in post-processing rooms. Cans of frozen products also do not stack well in the current system, leading to product damage and potential safety risks. “
No jobs will be lost as a result of the project, which will take place in two phases over an 18-month period. Employees will be redeployed to other areas of the plant.
The Lorneville plant employs up to 2,000 people during peak season, where it processes sheep and deer. Later this year he will also start processing cows.
In July 2020, the company announced that it was spending $ 3.2 million on engine room safety devices, equipment upgrades and building structure at the Lorneville site.
She also received a $ 2.8 million loan from the Provincial Growth Fund for her $ 4 million project to reconfigure the Lorneville venison processing plant so that it can process beef.