Lidl France, a division of a German discount supermarket chain, has enlisted the help of leading door and logistics solutions brand Crawford in its drive to have the best cool chain in the retail food business.
Lidl operates more than 7,200 stores across Europe, including 1,500 in France, where it also has 23 distribution centers. Crawford, an ASSA ABLOY brand, has a complete product portfolio of quality doors and docking systems, combined with application know-how and unparalleled service, making it the perfect partner to help Lidl France achieve its aims of continuous hygiene, low temperatures and energy efficiency.
The challenges for Lidl France revolve around maximizing temperature control and minimizing energy consumption in its chilled-food supply chain. At the same time, it is critical that the highest hygiene standards are maintained in order to meet the company’s goals and satisfy the health authorities.
Food must be kept strictly between temperatures of 0°C and 2°C until it is put on display, which requires the utmost efficiency during the loading process. As hygiene is a critical concern, Lidl France communicated that the chilled-food area was to be kept as clean as possible. This meant that machinery had to be kept out of the food area as far as was practical.
Lidl France requested loadhouse solutions to save space in its distribution centers and – since in France the loadhouse is not considered part of the building – reduce taxes. It was also important that the door equipment used be well insulated, to limit energy losses during loading operations. Other requirements were that the solution avoided interior doors, for space and hygiene reasons, and that the door solution supplier should provide preventive and corrective maintenance – within eight hours if necessary – on all door equipment, throughout its life.
Crawford provided a complete loading system consisting of levelers, shelters and doors. Together with the autodock bottom loading platform and an insulated cladding house, a complete, stand-alone dock-loading system is formed. Specifically, HMX-type loadhouses were used, with insulated cladding consisting of 80mm-thick panels, as well as insulated panels where the HMX loadhouses are attached to eliminate thermal bridges. Unlike conventional docking systems, Crawford isodock dock levelers are placed behind a well-insulated sectional door. They are also hermetically sealed off from below, preventing cold or hot air access. On the front of each loadhouse, 370-type doors are fitted. On top of this, Crawford signed a service agreement for one or two scheduled preventive maintenance visits per year, depending on the type of equipment in place at the various facilities, and an eight-hour response time in case of emergency. The result is that, at the 11 distribution centers equipped and supported by Crawford, Lidl France is benefiting from strict temperature control during its loading operations and regular maintenance that ensures everything continues to run smoothly.
Go to the Crawford website for information about their product offer.
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