Simulating produce coolers challenges and opportunities
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Simulating Produce Coolers: Challenges and Opportunities. Khaled Mabrouk Operational Engineering Leader - SPS. Presentation Outline. Ag/Produce Business in California Operational Engineering & Farming Produce Cooler Processes Produce Cooler Simulation. America’s Salad Bowl.

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Simulating Produce Coolers: Challenges and Opportunities

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Simulating produce coolers challenges and opportunities

Simulating Produce Coolers: Challenges and Opportunities

Khaled Mabrouk

Operational Engineering Leader - SPS


Presentation outline

Presentation Outline

  • Ag/Produce Business in California

  • Operational Engineering & Farming

  • Produce Cooler Processes

  • Produce Cooler Simulation


America s salad bowl

America’s Salad Bowl

  • Top Crop States:CA $44.7B, IA 31.9, NE 24.4, TX 22.7, MN 20.5

  • CA generates 15% of USA crops,and 50+% of USA grown fruits, nuts, and vegs

  • Watsonville & Salinas Valley generates $4.7B


Simulating produce coolers challenges and opportunities

Along Central Coast (South of Bay Area)


Produce business

Produce Business

  • Some companies only fill one or two of these roles, and some are totally vertically integrated.


High level look at growing process

High Level Look at Growing Process


Detailed look at growing process

Detailed Look at Growing Process


Oe produce growers shippers

OE & Produce Growers Shippers

  • Optimization models for field planting selection

  • Best Practice Standard Work for field work

  • Predictive Maintenance for Field Equipment

  • Simulation of Produce Coolers


Produce cooler example

Produce Cooler Example


Produce cooler processes

Produce Cooler Processes


Arrival rates

Arrival Rates


Cooling approach by product

Cooling Approach By Product


Produce cooler challenges

Produce Cooler Challenges

  • Produce degrades quickly

  • Must be in cooler within 2.5 hours of harvesting, takes 30-60 minutes for product to arrive

  • Each product has it’s own cooling requirements; process and time in process

  • Different forklifts for inside vs. outside cooler; concern about emission affect on product


Produce cooler simulation challenges

Produce Cooler – Simulation Challenges

  • Must keep track of every pallet

  • Arrival pattern varies by time of day

  • Should wait for sufficient number of pallets of a product type before starting cooling process

  • Use shade bay for staging

  • 12 pallet forklift


Produce cooler sample model

Produce Cooler - Sample Model

  • There are many excellent simulation software products.

  • The use of a specific product on this project is not an endorsement for any one specific simulation software.

  • Let’s RUN THE MODEL


Lessons learned

Lessons Learned

  • Tube capacity should be a multiple of 12

  • Extra receiving personnel needed during busy period to reduce in-bound trucks queuing

  • Room available in Shade Bay Area to convert to other use

  • Both Dry & Wet Boxes are sized appropriately

  • Single move for AFC products has significant impact on Average Time to Complete Cooling Process


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