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Drakes Supermarkets, one of Australia’s largest independent grocery retailers, has partnered with Dematic to automate its new South Australian distribution centre.

The $80 million project, which will occupy 17 hectares in Edinburgh North, will include a robotic piece picking system from Dematic – the first to be deployed in Australia and the second globally.

“Our new facility will be the most advanced independent distribution and logistics centre in South Australia and is a key part of our group’s vertical integration strategy within the supermarket sector,” said Glenn Sutcliffe, logistics manager at Drakes Supermarkets.

“We are excited that the centre will incorporate robotics as part of a wider high-tech warehouse picking system.”

According to Sutcliffe, Dematic’s RapidPick one-to-one goods-to-person (GTP) solution, which includes the Dematic Multishuttle buffering and sequencing system and robotic piece picking, will help Drakes grow its business.

“As a business committed to continued growth, our goal is to build a new distribution centre that allows us to offer the best level of service to our South Australian shoppers, as well as set the scene for our plan to expand nationally,” said Sutcliffe.

Terry Jamieson, business development manager at Dematic, says the setup will operate in an ambient environment, handling grocery products compatible with GTP systems. “Some of the key benefits of the new Dematic solution include the security of high value items and increased pick rates, which meet Drakes Supermarkets’ needs in an increasingly competitive grocery sector,” he said.

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