Alimerka Automates Fresh Produce Distribution with Cimcorp

Spanish supermarket chain invests in automation to ensure picking accuracy, enhanced freshness and longer shelf life
By: Cimcorp
GRIMSBY, Ontario - Aug. 25, 2020 - PRLog -- Cimcorp has received an order to automate fresh produce distribution for the regional Spanish grocery retailer, Alimerka. Robotic systems at the company's Lugo de Llanera distribution center will serve all 173 Alimerka stores across Northwest Spain, as well as another dozen customers of the group's fresh produce distribution subsidiary, Codefrut.

Cimcorp's automation will ensure availability across Alimerka's fruit and vegetable product range, as well as security of supply to its retail stores. "We expect strict project management from Cimcorp in the implementation phase," said Alimerka's CEO, Alejandro Fernández González. "We've seen what the company has done for other grocery retailers, and that the Cimcorp team understands the challenges with fresh produce. We cannot have any delays due to disruption. Over 150,000 families a day rely on food being available in our stores."

Alimerka is a leading grocer in its home region of Asturias—where it has one-third of the market share—as well as in the neighboring regions of Galicia and Castile and León. According to González, Alimerka has always taken pride in being an innovative company, committed to securing food production and work opportunities in Asturias. "We have 6,000 employees and we buy from local producers and farmers. Our commitment to the area is one of the reasons why our customers are loyal to us."

120 tons of fresh produce pass through the Lugo de Llanera distribution center every day, six days a week, handled in plastic crates to prevent bruising and ensure excellent quality from field to shelf. "With this automation, we want to ensure that there are no unscheduled stoppages," explained González. "Imagine if the automation didn't work for one day: the stores would not receive fruit and vegetables, the produce in the logistics center would no longer be as fresh, and there wouldn't be space for the 120 tons coming in the next day. We have to have a reliable solution so that the hard work, time and money invested in fresh produce doesn't go to waste. This is why we have invested in fresh food automation from Cimcorp."

Alimerka is also investing in preventive maintenance and 24/7 help desk support from Cimcorp. "Automation comes with a price tag," commented González. "But when you invest in high-quality automation, it ages well. Nevertheless, all automation has wearable parts that need to be replaced from time to time. Who better to maintain and repair the solution than the people who designed and installed it in the first place? Alimerka wants to get the most out of this investment, so we want to take care of it in order that it will last several decades."

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