Singapore's first automated chiller gets off ground

SINGAPORE's first automated food storage chiller was launched by local storage provider Mandai Link Logistics on Wednesday.

The facility is 30-metres high, the equivalent of a 12-storey HDB flat, and runs on a system akin to mechanised car park at Club Street.

Barcodes are tagged onto the food items, which contain specific information about the customer or details of when it should be delivered.

Robots stack and move the food within the facility, improving productivity and help resolve manpower crunch issues, said managing director Liew Yew Fah.

Mr Liew had pumped in $40 million in 2007 to construct an automated freezer storage facility at Mandai Link, with temperatures kept at -25 degree Celsius.

Last October, he spent another $2 million to convert half of the freezer into a chiller, where temperatures are slightly higher between zero and five degrees Celsius.

Higher-end food items require chilling rather than freezing facilities, explained Mr Liew.

These include Kobe beef, kurobuta pork, apples as well as dairy products such as cheese.

Riding on the higher demand for such ingredients, Mr Liew made his move to provide chilled storage services for his customers, whom he says are local supermarket chains and food importers.

The freezer and chiller at Mandai Link has a capacity of 25,000 metric tonnes, which can store one thousand 40-foot container loads of food.