The Back Story
A 70-year-old manufacturer of standard and specialty casters was looking for a company to help them bring automation into their product storage and order fulfillment area. They were looking for a way to bring large heavy totes of completed casters to an area for order picking and then returning the tote back to the shelving area until needed for another order. Additionally, the manufacturer wanted the ability to queue up totes to minimize the wait time for picking products for order pack out.
The end user turned to one of Alba’s partners, KC Robotics, to provide a solution for automating their plant. Alba worked with to come up with a system which incorporated two (2) over/under conveyor systems, positioned side by side, that would convey totes of finished product, weighing up to 3,000 lb. each, into the robot pick station on the lower level. The robot would then pick the parts required to fulfill the order.
Once the parts had been picked by the robot, the totes would be raised to the upper level via conveyor lift table and conveyed back to the beginning of the line. A fork truck would pick up the tote and return it back to the rack.
When the pick zone conveyor was clear and in the home position, the next tote that was waiting in the queue would be conveyed into the pick zone. This process of conveying totes in and out of the system would continue automatically to process all the orders for the day.