28.08.2012 | Lager & distribution
Space-efficient Multishuttle at home in Bigler s basement
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An innovative split-case, goods to person (GTP) order picking solution driven by a Dematic Multishuttle® system is delivering big improvements for Swiss meat products manufacturer Bigler AG.
An increasing range of products, growing customer demand for smaller order sizes, shorter delivery times, and the need to optimise personnel and storage costs, were all key drivers in the design of Bigler AG’s new production facility at its existing Büren an der Aare site in Switzerland.
“Half of our customers are small to medium-sized enterprises and food retail outlets who want minimum quantity orders delivered up to three times a week,” said Markus Bigler, owner and ManagingDirector of the long-standing Swiss firm.
“We needed an intelligent solution for short-term storage and efficient single item order picking. Dematic presented the most innovative solution based on a four-aisle integrated Multishuttle system supporting goods-to-person (GTP) order picking.”
Meeting current needs and planning for future growth
The 7,000+ container capacity Multishuttle system and building have been designed so that a fifth aisle can be added at a later stage without any major construction work.
The smart design also allows for the installation of a mezzanine floor above the GTP order picking stations to create a second warehouse level in the building, providing space for an additional Multishuttle system housing up to a further 6,600 containers.
The space-efficient Multishuttle’s flexible configuration options led to it being housed in the building’s basement, enabling it to be maintained at a considerably lower temperature than would have been possible in the order picking area.
Multishuttle® system operation
A total of 32 shuttles on nine levels perform up to 1,600 inward and outward goods movements every hour. Items are stored as evenly as possible across all
aisles, which helps speed put-away and retrieval and guarantees availability, even if one of the aisles is unavailable for any reason.
Order processing is managed by Bigler’s ERP system, which interfaces with Dematic’s material flow control software.
“Due to the requirements of the best-before date (BBD), and outward movements in accordance with the first-in/first-out (FIFO) principle, reliable product control was essential. A high level of systems expertise was required on the part of
Dematic to interface the various elements of the solution,” added Mr Bigler.
Containers retrieved by the Multishuttles are transferred to integrated lifts at the end of the aisles. The lifts interface with two conveyor loops, an upper loop connected to four automatic workstations and a lower loop feeding three automatic and three manual workstations.
The conveyor loops are used to buffer and sequence the high volume of goods for order picking, with the containers supplied via a buffer conveyor in front of the workstations. Picking is directed via screens for optimum accuracy.
Goods are picked, weighed and labelled according to customer specifications into order containers, with the product containers returning to the
Multishuttle store. In the same way, pre-picked, full order containers
can be transported back into the warehouse via a separate conveyor and stored temporarily, prior to despatch.
A better solution for split-case picking
“Compared to the conventional ASRS in our other plant, Dematic’s solution is considerably more efficient for individual item order picking,” said Mr Bigler.
“We process around 1,000 order lines per hour, and have the potential to increase this up to 1,800 per hour.
“Problem-free implementation and a commissioning process with no notable start-up difficulties have shown we made the correct decision.
“We are now well equipped to meet changing customer requirements and future growth,” concluded Mr Bigler.