Cargill upgrades Kansas beef plant

Cargill upgrades Kansas beef plant

Cargill to improve order accuracy, speed and efficiency at beef plant with new automated order system.

CARGILL announced that it is investing $48 million to improve efficiency at its beef processing facility in Dodge City, Kan., by installing a new automated order distribution system.

Construction will begin later this year. The new system will have the capacity to hold approximately 155,000 boxes of beef and will be housed in a new 62,000 sq. ft. building specifically constructed for that purpose. Cargill said the system will increase boxed beef capacity at the Dodge City plant by 130,000 boxes.

Scheduled to come on line by the spring of 2015, the new system uses Retrotech automation and Viastore equipment and will replace a system that has served the plant for about three decades.

The Dodge City plant supplies beef products to retail, foodservice and processed foods customers throughout the U.S. and internationally. The new system will improve the plant's ability to keep highly perishable fresh meat products flowing to hundreds of destinations.

"This new distribution system will benefit our customers by improving order accuracy and on-time delivery, in addition to providing better capability to handle the ever-increasing complexity of product offerings shipped to domestic and international markets," said John Keating, president of Cargill Beef. "Installation of this new system will help us better meet our customers' expectations."

In addition to the increased handling capacity, the new order distribution system will offer increased efficiency, reduced maintenance, improved reliability, lower operating costs and increased utilization in a more sustainable way due to lower energy use compared with the original equipment.

The Dodge City facility opened in 1979, has nearly 2,700 employees and slaughters 6,000 head of cattle per day.

Cargill noted that it has invested more than $760 million in capital expenditures in its North American beef processing plants over the past 10 years.

Volume:85 Issue:35

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