Higher picking capacity and improved quality
Winkel GmbH, a specialist in intelligent handling systems, has delivered five of its high-performance FAST PICK stations to a major Swedish electronics retailer. The stations will enable an efficient, ergonomic picking process with a significantly higher picking capacity. The innovative pallet buffer allows for continuous operation, as it reduces the time to prepare the next pallet for loading to a few seconds. The stations also ensure that the handling of goods is conducted with the utmost care. In addition, the stations’ seamless integration into an in-house conveyor system facilitates a streamlined shipping process, thus, saving the company considerable time and money.
Illingen, 21.03.2017 – The FAST PICK stations are designed with two levels: the upper level of each station comprises a loading table on a platform. Employees at the Swedish electronics retailer receive a variety of parcels, small packets, and trays with mixed goods via the in-house conveyor system and load these onto a pallet provided for the specific order. Below the platform lies a shaft into which the pallet can be gradually lowered. This allows the loading table to be adjusted to ensure that it is always at an optimal height for the employee. The employee, therefore, does not have to lift the packages, which are often heavy, but only move them horizontally onto the pallet. This is beneficial for the employee’s health while increasing efficiency: the FAST PICK station has a capacity of up to 800 picks/hr per station.
An automatic pallet wrapper is integrated into the shaft. As soon as the pallet is completely loaded, a vertical lift takes it downwards, wrapping it with durable stretch film as it descends to secure it for shipping. According to Athanasios Loupas, the sales manager at Winkel, “This provides optimal protection against dust and sliding around during transit for fragile items such as electrical goods”. One of the highlights of the FAST PICK station is the integrated pallet buffer. This innovative solution immediately provides an empty pallet for loading, as soon as the full pallet begins to lower. “This means, that the order picker can work continuously and without interruption,” Loupas explains. Winkel has even patented this system. The packed and wrapped pallet is fed directly from the shaft onto another conveyor line. The station will then place a new, empty pallet in the buffer, ensuring work is carried out continuously. “It doesn’t get any more efficient than that,” Loupas adds. Thorough process management means that the error rate of the FAST PICK stations is virtually zero.
An advantage during the installation process is that the stations can be installed in a very tight space and can be easily integrated into the existing production and logistics processes of the Swedish company. The installation was carried out by a renowned integrator from Austria. With the FAST PICK stations, the electronics retailer has managed to increase the efficiency of its palletizing, depalletizing, and picking: “Since installing five of our stations, the client now has a capacity of up to 4,000 picks per hour,” Loupas sums up. Furthermore, the employees are glad to have much more comfortable working conditions, and the safety of the goods in transit has improved significantly as well.
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