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Grocery Distributor Increases Case Picking Speed By 300% Through Robotic Automation Solution

Allen Distribution, a third-party logistics company focused on grocery distribution, installed their first robotic warehouse automation solution provided by Prime Robotics. Founded in 1998, Allen Distribution offers warehouse and distribution services including food-grade warehousing, transportation services including asset-based equipment and company drivers. From their eight warehouse locations, the company serves groceries to clients of all sizes.

The Brief

With the growth of online shopping, Allen Distribution is managing an ever-increasing number of orders that are received via a customer’s website direct from consumers which require processing and shipping same day and with this demand came the need to move away from their manual processes, that were not only time consuming, but required physical labour that proved a challenge to source in busy periods. The company wanted to significantly increase the speed of their pick line operations, reduce the need for manual labour and ultimately increase their competitive advantage by implementing robotic automation.

The Challenge

For Allen Distribution to increase their competitive advantage, they required a solution which was unlike most other third-party logistics companies. Prime Robotics had to consider which robotic automation solution would increase their efficiency the most whilst reducing the need for human interaction.



To address these challenges, a semi-automated production line was developed, integrated with the existing automated press brake folding line. The new production line featured an insulation loading station, guided by screens that directed operators on insulation placement. 


Two insulation presses ensured precise positioning of insulation within the lintel cavity. A break plate punch system transformed a steel coil into individual plates, which were then stacked and transported by a conveyor system to a pick and plate cell. Prime Robotics robotic automation solution was a goods-to-person case picking system, designed for building rainbow pallets from single SKU pallets. Unlike most third-party logistics companies who move to a picking area and return the single SKU pallet once picked, Prime Robotics’ developed and produced a pallet robot to retrieve, present for picking and return the single SKU pallet back to its storage location.

The pallet robot (MP-3300) was designed to handle a payload of 1500kg. Prime also supplied Pallet Platforms, Prime Management Console and RCS, plus custom developed communication apps.


This robotic automation solution saw Allen Distribution increase their case picking speeds by over 3 times the manual picking rate, in addition to being able to increase their optional hours without hiring extra labour. The end result meant that Allen distribution were able to increase the efficiency of their grocery distribution whilst reducing their overall operational costs.

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L-A-C’s team of experts are here to support you from concept to the finished system, working together to design and deliver a bespoke solution that meets your current objectives and future growth expectations, with favourable ROI. 


Across semi-automated and fully automated systems, L-A-C has the expertise and range of products to provide flexible and scalable solutions that will significantly enhance your operations and keep you agile as your business evolves. 


Join us on a pivotal journey towards a more efficient, productive, cost effective and sustainable future with L-A-C’s innovative automation technology solutions.

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