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Mars and XPO Logistics Transform the Supply Chain with Innovative Robotics
Mars and XPO Logistics Transform the Supply Chain with
BOIGNY, FRANCE - February 13, 2018 - The French subsidiary of the agri-food group Mars has implemented automated handling systems and robotics at the XPO Logistics site at Boigny-sur-Bionne, near Orléans. XPO, a leading global supply chain service provider, manages the site for Mars.
Scalable solution supports sales development in France
In less than a year, a joint innovation team comprised of specialists from XPO and manufacturer Alstef mechanized 1,600 square meters (17,200-square-feet) of space at the temperature-controlled Boigny site. The facility manages the storage and distribution for a wide range of Mars products: pet care (PEDIGREE®, WHISKAS®, CESAR®, SHEBA®), chocolate (M&M's®, TWIX®, SNICKERS®, Celebrations®), Wrigley (FREEDENT®, SKITTLES®), and food (UNCLE BEN'S®, EBLY®).
Quality and reliability enhanced by robotization
Jonathan Jambon, French market supply chain director of Mars, said, "Our growth in volume, the expansion of our product range and the development of new distribution channels have led to increased demand for layered pallet preparation and package preparation. To adapt to these changes and satisfy our customers, we have put our trust in XPO to design an innovative solution that is both flexible and meets the requirements of Mars Quality standards."
The future of logistics brought to Mars today
Produced by Alstef, a designer and manufacturer of automated handling and storage systems, the customized solution is integrated throughout the package preparation process, from the arrival of goods in plastic film wrap to the preparation of new pallet loads ready for shipment. Upstream in the process, an automated storage and retrieval system places the pallets in racks at high speed. Each type of package is handled in the fastest and most consistent way possible without sacrificing workstation ergonomics.
The system's major innovation lies in the preparation stage. The robot's articulated arm can pick up as many as five stacks of packages at one time to assemble pallets with multiple product codes. Equipped with grippers and a pneumatic system, the robot ensures product safety at each stage. Nearly 90% of Mars products are compatible with the automation, which has the flexibility to adapt to the constraints of the various packaging options (glass, cardboard or plastic bags). For outsized packages, a manual preparation system has been designed to reduce repetitive employee movements as much as possible through the use of automatic conveyors.
About XPO Logistics
About Mars, Incorporated