Geek+, a provider of autonomous mobile robots for warehouses, has launched a new solution for “Smart Mixed Case palletizing”, co-developed with WSR Solutions, a provider of intelligent warehouse management tools.
The solution combines Geek+ autonomous mobile robots and WSR’s intelligent palletizing algorithm to help warehouse operators systematically handle the processing of multiple outbound orders in an efficient, safe, and flexible way.
Lit Fung, vice president of APAC, UK and the Americas at Geek+, says: “We are thrilled to work together with WSR Solutions to provide a tool that targets every aspect of the outbound logistics process, from how goods are stored and moved around the warehouse to how pallets are stacked, streamlining processes by eliminating the need for re-palletization, and optimizing overall space utilization.”
Based on real-time demand, Geek+ autonomous mobile robots optimize the movement of ordered goods between the storage area and picking station.
At the picking station, WSR’s intelligent algorithm support warehouse operators to stack cases of varying weight, height, width, and so on in an optimal way.
It is a one-stop solution that takes warehouse automation one step further, allowing operators to not only modernize logistics processes inside the warehouse but ensure agile supply chains through the efficient use of truck space.
Marcel van Schijndel, CEO of WSR Solutions, says: “Together with Geek+ we provide a full framework for the changing market requirements.
“Innovative mixed palletizing solutions that in effect serve one single goal: to optimize the customer’s supply chain with efficient, flexible, and affordable automation solutions.”
The solution has four key components – storage area, buffer area, case picking area, and loading area.
The storage area is built on multiple layers using high-density racking and bulk lifts for more storage capacity. After inbound processing, pallets of incoming goods (donor pallets) are stored in high-density racking.
Donor pallets are then moved horizontally by four-way shuttles and vertically by lifts. The system flexibly solves bottlenecks caused by rapid changes in required throughput.
With no need for wires and long installation periods, the number of shuttles can be flexibly adjusted to handle changes in required throughput, and peak values can be changed using the system’s scheduling tool.
Upon receiving the outbound order, items of high outbound volume go to a buffer area between the storage area and the workstation. Upon registering an incoming order, a picking robot picks up the donor pallet from the storage area and moves it to the buffer area for temporary storage. At the buffer area, picking robots streamline the movement of pallets, ensuring the smooth supply and optimal sequencing of source pallets to the workstation.
Case picking area
At the workstation, an operator picks cases from a donor pallet and stacks them on an order pallet based on a pre-calculated stacking pattern. The user-friendly interface provides the operator with information on outbound orders such as required type and quantity of goods, and the SAT laser pointer specifies case placement.
If one type of good is included in different orders, picking robots will move the donor pallet of that good to the next workstation, and new donor pallets containing other SKUs will automatically arrive at the previous workstation for continued order picking. The remaining items that do not require further picking will go to the storage area, creating a dynamic transit cycle.
At the loading area, optimally stacked pallets are loaded onto trucks by autonomous forklifts without the need for re-palletization. By optimizing how pallets are stacked it improves truck space utilization, lowering the overall transport costs.
The algorithm enables efficient organization and order sequencing of large-scale, mixed case combinations. It can be tailored to fit customers’ actual business needs for allocation and priority management, making a powerful tool applicable to a wide range of industry scenarios.