With technology rapidly advancing and evolving, now is the time asses the available options in intralogistics management solutions that use Industry 4.0 technology, are modular, and mitigate long term business risks. Intralogistics is evolving from large, rigid systems into modular, flexible, and software-driven solutions – robot-supported and self-optimising.
CarryPick: a flexible solution for e-commerce businesses
When it comes to deploying automation technologies, although intriguing to many supply chain professionals, many do nothing, but end up spending more and ultimately lag behind in investing in state-of-the-art technology. The warehouse and picking system CarryPick was developed to boost employee productivity, provide scalability and drive substantial cost reductions. Even though highly automated, this goods-to-person system delivers the desired flexibility and adapts quickly and cost-efficiently to future business growth, thus being a completely scalable and forward-looking system.
Unlike traditional warehouses with fixed racks, the modular CarryPick goods-to-person system completely organises the picking warehouse using mobile racks. Low-profile robot vehicles drive underneath the mobile racks and deliver them to workstations, where the requested items are picked and placed in the shipping boxes provided.
Floor space savings of 30 per cent or higher
To maximise the picking rate per mobile rack, each picker is able to process a larger number of orders in parallel, assisted by lasers that illuminate the appropriate picking compartment on the mobile rack. The workstations themselves are equipped with put-to-light technology – small lights let the picking employees know to which order a picked item belongs. Compared to traditional systems, the productivity of the employees at the workstation is considerably higher. At the same time, picking errors are virtually non-existent and floor space savings of 30 per cent and higher are made possible.
Low initial investment – maximum flexibility
The main benefit of the CarryPick system lies in its flexibility. If the product range changes, the rack structure can be modified accordingly. If the quantities to be processed change, the system can be flexibly extended. The initial equipment needed includes a basic number of mobile racks, at least one workstation, and a small number of ‘Carrier’ automated guided vehicles (AGV). As shipping volumes increase or the product range grows, the CarryPick system can be extended with additional components such as racks, carriers or workstations. There is no need to make major up-front investments in systems whose full performance capacity will not yet be needed.
CarryPick is easily integrated into legacy structures that normally would not have the space to support automation. The compact storage system, consisting of a workstation and mobile racks, can be installed in buildings with a ceiling height under three meters.
CarryPick is a part of the Swisslog Click&Pick portfolio for businesses. Click&Pick is a modular concept that can be flexibly adapted to changing customer needs and business models. Depending on the solution concept, companies can fulfil orders up to five times faster than with manual rack systems.
CarryPick supports sustainability
At Swisslog, sustainability is a top priority. CarryPick saves energy. Workplace regulations mandate that only the relatively small workstation areas be provided with heat and light. Any unmanned warehouse areas housing the mobile racks therefore do not need heat, lighting, or ventilation.
Furthermore, CarryPick is a model of ergonomic workplace design. Employees in the warehouse concentrate mainly on their core abilities: see, touch, and pick. Pushing heavy picking carts over long distances becomes a thing of the past, leading to a significant reduction of illness-related absences, perhaps even extending employees’ working life. CarryPick provides a forward-looking option that improves warehouse performance is appreciably increased, and all at minimal expense that is repaid in the timeliest fashion possible.
PowerStore: increase capacity and maximise resource savings
The pallet shuttle system PowerStore provides reliable cost benefits and maximises resource savings. This innovative warehouse equipment boosts capacity, is suitable for high-density environments and can be used in deep-freeze environments. This technology allows businesses to be at the forefront of Industry 4.0 initiatives.
The modularity of the PowerStore pallet shuttle system enables storage of up to 60% more pallets compared to manual systems. It can also be individually tailored for all shapes and sizes of warehouse buildings. The PowerStore pallet storage systems can be used in a wide range of environments, from -30°C in frozen food storage to 50°C. It can be used in buildings with unusual shapes. The modular design of the PowerStore system opens completely new possibilities for automation in existing warehouses. The system is also suitable for manufacturing businesses, especially those in the fast-moving consumer goods and food and beverage industries.
Unique and modular
PowerStore is backed by over 40 years of global experience in optimising systems with high throughput and reliability. PowerStore’s control software is fully integrated in Swisslog’s SynQ suite of warehouse management software and is designed to work seamlessly with customers’ WMS and host systems. Furthermore, low-height carriers save storage space while still enabling industry-leading lift heights. This allows for normal pallet deflections and minimises the need for troubleshooting within the rack.
The PowerStore is a compact pallet shuttle system that is used in conjunction with vertical conveyors to utilise virtually every square metre of available space. The compact system supports storage depths of up to 20x and beyond per channel within a rack design. This rack design can have ten or more levels and adapts to virtually any building topography, accommodating existing support walls as well as multi-level and barrel roofs.
At Pepsi Bottling Ventures (PBV), for example, PowerStore increased storage capacity by as much as 60%.
Row and aisle carriers are used for pallet storage and retrieval. Vertical conveyors allow these carriers to be used on any rack level. At PBV, PowerStore’s high dynamics support 580 pallet operations (storage and retrieval) per hour. At the same time, customers benefit from state-of-the-art software control and energy-saving operations, thanks to advanced mechanical and electrical components from a manufacturing process that meets ISO 14001 and emphasises environmentally friendly product design.
PowerStore is integrated into an advanced software landscape and can be connected to Swisslog’s SynQ software platform, or used in conjunction with virtually any other modern warehouse management system. PowerStore displays great flexibility when used across industries and can be deployed in deep-freeze environments with temperatures as low as -30°C.
A fully automated way for creating mixed pallets
ACPaQ will automate one of the most important areas of intralogistics operations: creating customised mixed pallets for individual stores from single-SKU pallets. ACPaQ is universally applicable for fully automated order picking of mixed case pallets.
Store-friendly pallets are automatically built in distribution centres using the combination of proven technology, such as the CycloneCarrier light goods shuttle system, conveyor systems and high performance de-palletising and palletising robots. It is configured using modules and scalable for small, mid-size and large distribution centres handling up to 500,000 cases per day. This innovative palletising system has a highly modular design and enables a fully automated process controlled by the SynQ warehouse management software which, compared to traditional methods, doubles or even triples the speed of picking cartons in distribution centres based on store layout, item groups or item classes.
The palletising software allows you to customise the palletising order to increase efficiency during in-store replenishment. ACPaQ can be used in ambient temperature and chilled warehouse zones, and can handle almost all types of cartons, shrink wrapper or foiled packages, and pallet types used in retail & beverage industries.
At the core of ACPaQ is the RowPaQ cell featuring a state-of-the-art 5-axis jointed-arm KUKA robot. It is equipped with a flexible gripper with adjustable forks that allows it to pick up as many as four cartons at a time, even if they don’t have the same dimensions or weight. A RowPaQ cell is capable of setting down up to 1,000 cartons per hour in the exact location predefined by the palletising software. It is completely scalable and additional RowPaQ cells can be added to the system to increase throughput as required.
Networking new and proven technologies
Robot-based palletising builds on an intelligently organised process. Before cartons can be palletised in sequence, they are first separated, loaded into trays and stored temporarily in the highly dynamic CycloneCarrier shuttle system. Even before the warehouse management system issues the palletising order, Swisslog’s software autonomously performs a complex calculation process based on product parameters to determine the best way to load the pallet. The cartons are then transported in the exact sequence from storage to the RowPaQ cell. After palletising is complete, it is shrink-wrapped and transported via conveyor directly to the right shipping station.
Sean Ryan is the head of sales and consulting at Swisslog Australia. For more information call +61 447 771 933, email [email protected] or visit www.swisslog.com/wds. Swisslog is a member of the KUKA Group, www.kuka.com.