Swisslog to introduce CarryStar fully automated solution at CeMAT
Swisslog is introducing its CarryStar fully automated order fulfilment system to Australasia, which combines automatic guided vehicles (AGVs), KUKA Star robots and the latest Swisslog SynQ software.
CarryStar will be displayed for the first time at CeMAT 2018 at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre, 24–26 July (Stand F12), along with live demonstrations of Swisslog’s KMP600 AGV, augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) technologies, and the latest collaborative robots from its parent company, KUKA.
Swisslog and KUKA’s technologies and automation solutions are designed to improve efficiency and return on investment for industries such as e-commerce, retail, food and beverage, pharmaceuticals, manufacturing, logistics and fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG).
The scalable and modular CarryStar fully automated solution is suitable for small, mid-size and large layer and stack picking operations. With minimal fixed infrastructure required and the ability to grow as a business expands its operations, CarryStar is ideally suited to retail, FMCG and pharmaceutical companies looking for a hygienic and efficient warehouse automation solution.
The fully automated process starts with a pallet infeed station, where KMP600 or KMP1200 Mobile Platforms (Carry Bots) receive the pallets and transport them to buffer positions or the picking area around a Star robot.
These KUKA high-performance Star robots are the workhorses of the CarryStar solution and can pick approximately 200–300 layers or stacks per hour to form mixed or rainbow pallets depending on the requirements to fulfil the order. Once complete, Swisslog’s Carry AGVs then transport pallets to the pallet wrapper, where they will be labelled, and finally to the dispatching area to be sent to the required destinations.
Productivity and sustainability can be enhanced by negative picking, which allows for the conversion of source pallets into order pallets to minimise wastage. The entire system is driven by Swisslog’s SynQ software, which not only manages the system, but collects valuable data and uses this to recommend further efficiencies.
“Swisslog’s CarryStar solution provides an insight into the factories of the future. It’s an automated pallet-to-pallet transfer of goods that needs minimal fixed infrastructure to operate, making it ideally suited to companies looking for a hygienic and efficient warehouse automation solution,” said Paul Stringleman, Senior Consultant, Swisslog Australia. “The highly customisable nature of Swisslog’s CarryStar solution makes it ideally suited to dynamic businesses, where order fulfilment needs may be constantly changing. It also helps growing businesses, because modular units can be added on as the business expands.”
The Carry AGV vehicles navigate using a grid of QR codes to deliver stacks to the Star robots through the infeed, move the pallets around the robots, and to buffer positions, and subsequently deliver the racks to the outfeed for shipment. These AGVs are intuitive and safe, simultaneously reducing picking error rates and maintaining efficiency.
Swisslog’s Star Robots are chosen based on SKU, volume and the type of picking that will be completed (crate stack, carton and tray layer or mixed SKU stack picking). These six-axis robots are available in different payload capacities to suit different warehouses and stock picking needs.
CarryStar is managed by Swisslog’s intelligent management software, SynQ. In addition to the core processes that are used to manage the AGVs, SynQ also provides access to analytical tools. These tools evaluate and make smart decisions in a warehouse, based on gathered data. SynQ manages CarryStar to create an intuitive, efficient, data-driven and error-free operation. SynQ also manages the energy-efficiency levels of the solution by using unsequenced order data by SKU and pallet, manually resequencing this data for CarryStar by SKU and order pallet to result in minimal product pallet movements that are communicated to the Star Robots.
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