ALSTEF has been involved in automation of logistics centers for more than 50 years. During this time ALSTEF has acquired a special expertise in order preparation from pallets or bins. Several designs have been developed by ALSTEF.
With a storage system using stacker-cranes, operators have access to a large number of references, the items can be picked up from :
• Platforms placed on several levels between storage aisles where pallets are manually assembled and put on a carrier.
• Stock picking is made from gravity conveyors served by stacker-cranes, cartons are put onto a collector and distributed to a pallet preparation station.
This type of preparation has benefits for the assembly of orders with a large number of choices and stable, regular items.
This automated storage system delivers pallets or bins into an area dedicated to the preparation of orders. This area can be served by conveyors, shuttles, Electrified Monorail System, or AGV’s.
As in the previous case, the operators move in front of the source pallets, which remain in the area until they are empty.
This solution is particularly well adapted for products with a high rotation rate or in the case of preparation requiring particular treatment conditions.
This solution “goods to man” makes it possible to optimize preparation by simultaneously assembling several orders.
The performance of the operation is ensured thanks to an advanced ergonomic preparation station.
After picking, the source pallets are automatically sent back into the storage area served by the stacker-cranes. This design allows to gather in the same place, full pallets for one shipment, it reduces the waiting time for trucks as no product is missed.
This solution has special value for frozen products. The stock remains in intense cold whereas the operators can work in light cold (2°C to 5°C), under improved working conditions.
In this case, the same process as those used for « goods to man » solutions is used.
The automated store delivers pallets or bins to the order preparation area. They can be transported by conveyors, Electrified Monorail System or AGV’s.
The operators move in front of the source pallets which remain in the area until they are empty.
This solution is particularly well adapted for products with a high rotation rate or in the case of preparation requiring particular conditions of treatment.
The automated order preparation can be done either by layer deposit or multi reference preparation per carton.
Combined with an automated storage system using stacker-cranes the layer deposit is made to handle high rotation rate. Dividers or intermediary pallets can be added to meet specific client’s request .
Before this process the source pallets must be manually un-wrapped .
The source pallets can be stored by automated stacker-cranes in order to reduce the lift truck operations.
According to the content of pallets prepared , 2 solutions are proposed by ALSTEF :
- Multi-articulated robot with 5 or 6 axes can simultaneously prepare 3 pallets from 3 references.
The throughput is about 200 layers per hour. This is mostly used if a small number of references have to be handled on few pallets.
- Cartesian robot can simultaneously prepare a high number of pallets from several references. The source and prepared pallets are taken out of the preparation area by an automatic shuttle car .
The throughput is about 120 layers per hour, this solution is chosen for preparation by flow of several pallets, with numerous high rotation references.
Sometimes preparation by layer can be associated to a manual or automated station where pallets are loaded with complementary cartons.