Phononic featured with Vidir in Grocery Dive

November 15, 2022

Phononic was recently featured in the Grocery Dive article, Could vertical storage make online grocery fulfillment more efficient?. The article focused on how automated vertical storage systems are seeing increasing interest from food retailers drawn to their ability to store and retrieve items using minimal floor space. The piece highlighted the work of Phononic and Vidir Vertical Solutions.

From the Article:

Setting the temperature of individual totes: As they start to pay closer attention to VLMs, grocers are also showing increased interest in technology that can keep food refrigerated or frozen on a tote-by-tote basis instead of requiring goods to be kept in chilled rooms that may have a lot of empty space, said Dana Krug, senior vice president for cold chain at Phononic, a supplier of temperature-controlled totes compatible with VLMs and MFCs.

vidir vlm with phononic totesPhononic’s totes feature solid state cooling units the size of a smartphone that can bring the interior of the unit from room temperature down to a specific temperature in under an hour, Krug said. The totes can also be controlled remotely, allowing retailers to turn the cooling system on or off as needed even when a tote is stored inside a VLM. That makes the equipment, which depends on carbon dioxide and water instead of conventional refrigerant, much more efficient than compressor-based cooling systems, Krug said.

While companies in sectors such as healthcare and the life sciences have used the company’s cooling technology for more than a decade, retailers have only been showing interest in its equipment for about three years, Krug said. The company is not ready to identify retailers it is working with, he said.

Phononic displayed its totes at Groceryshop inside a vertical storage unit from Vidir Vertical Solutions, a VLM supplier it is partnering with to demonstrate the technology to food retailers. Vidir has installed VLMs for retailers including Home Depot, Kohl’s and Walmart, according to the company’s website.

“The beauty of the vertical racking and our system working with it is that flexibility to flex your order capacity at any given time. If I need more order capacity, I add more totes … it doesn’t mean I’m taking up more space inside the store,” said Krug.

Read the full article here: Could vertical storage make online grocery fulfillment more efficient?