Fully automatic case picking solutions combine proven technologies for the integrated automation of the process chain. Intelligent modules of our in-house logistics software WAMAS® support robot-based picking.
The fully automatic Schäfer Case Picking receives entire pallets from suppliers at goods-in and stores them in an automatic pallet high-bay warehouse using a conveying system. Depalletizing is carried out automatically and when required, with robots unloading the pallets either completely or partly layer by layer.
The layers of the cases are buffered either completely or separately in an automatic picking warehouse. Depending on the requirements, single-level shuttles, multi-level shuttles or conventional storage and retrieval machines by SSI SCHAEFER are utilized.
For the preparation of the delivery, the cases are retrieved and conveyed to the palletizing robots in the right sequence. These robots then rapidly and reliably pack the goods onto pallets or into roller containers for each branch using the previously calculated, optimum pack pattern according to the desired optimization targets: store-friendly, maximum stability, minimum volume or a mixture thereof. Finally, the pallets are automatically wrapped in plastic film.
Then the finished pallets are also automatically transported to goods-out.
The pallets in this area are distributed via inclined roller conveyors or temporarily stored in an automatic goods-out buffer.
Various software modules are used for automatic palletizing and depalletizing.
Vision technology is a software module for 3D object recognition for picking robots. Proper object recognition is the basic requirement for the exact access to goods and items by the robot’s gripper.
The software “learns” the different sizes and dimensions by scanning the items. The intelligence of the software is thus a lever to increase picking performance and at the same time protects the goods from damage caused by incorrect picking by the gripper.
The software’s integrated 3D image processing monitors the recognition processes at all times and displays them clearly on monitors at the picking location or control center.
Vision technology compares the results of the scanned image data with stored item master data to detect deviations.
Several integrated 3D cameras control the picking robot and record the flow of goods.
The pack pattern generator is a software module for the WAMAS® logistics software. The software’s algorithm calculates the ideal pack pattern for customized picking based on product dimensions and volume.
The interaction between the picking robot, pack pattern generator and WAMAS ® ensures a constantly high quality of reproducible pack patterns.
The result: palletizing optimally adapted to the layout of the branch with maximum volume utilization.
Especially in food wholesale, a very differentiated range of items is found in the picking and construction of order pallets – the pack pattern generator solves these requirements with the intelligence of a comprehensive and powerful IT system.
Picking or sorting in the branch is significantly reduced and lowers costs in the process chain.
SSI SCHAEFER deployed state-of-the-art technology in the form of the fully automatic Schäfer Case Picking (SCP) system to modernize the intralogistics for ES3 in conjunction with C&S Wholesale Grocers, one of the biggest wholesale grocers in the US. In addition to the automation of the warehouse processes, further key factors for the success of this unusual project were the integrated automation of order-specific case picking and preparation of consignments for shipping. The core of the system is the combination of the Schäfer Case Picking concept and multi-level shuttles. Result: A fully automated distribution center that enables a technical performance of more than 100,000 cartons per day.
Fully automatic picking systems are only economical at high technical performance rates and capacity utilization, and sometimes require high investments. The payback takes place during the runtime. If the conditions for this are not given, semi-automatic picking systems and well-thought-out processes offer a solution.
In this approach, the existing material flow in the warehouse and distribution center is analyzed. The result of the analysis accounts for factors such as the required or reasonable degree of automation in the overall process and local conditions in order to automate parts of the logistics chain.
Picking is often carried out manually, while buffer storage, replenishment supply of the picking warehouse as well as transport of pallets and roller containers take place automatically.
Supporting processes such as identifying and stacking empties and bins are also frequently automated to enable the employees to focus on manual, extremely high added-value core processes.
SSI SCHAEFER planned and implemented a 20,000 m² semi-automatic distribution center for dry goods for the Danish discounter Netto in Wustermark near Berlin, Germany. The high-bay pallet rack warehouse has approximately 9,700 pallet storage locations for storing the entire product range of a typical food discount store. Eight storage and retrieval machines ensure efficient processing. The composition of orders for Netto stores is carried out with entire pallets from the high-bay warehouse as well as picking pallets. They are made up of a semi-automatic picking area where storage and retrieval machines automatically place the replenishment pallets on gravity roller conveyors supplying them to the pickers as source pallets. When developing this area, special importance was attached to creating a bright, open and optically pleasant design of these areas. The components of the orders are compiled using low-floor order picking vehicles in the eight aisles of the picking warehouse according to the person-to-goods principle. The transport vehicles can accommodate two Euro pallets. The picking itself is carried out paperless using Pick by Voice. An electric monorail system and an extensive conveying system designed for both Euro and half pallets together with the logistics software by SSI SCHAEFER create a more efficient and economical flow of goods.