The warehouse and logistics industry has struggled to cope with a number of material handling issues for many years. The challenges include the labour time required for manual picking, together with the need for pallet loads to be split in order to remove excess layers for storage, or achieving acceptable pallet height for manual handling of the load. There are also health and safety issues associated with this activity.
In a traditional operation, the picker will go to a location and transfer goods manually onto another pallet, and then move on to the next location, depending on the picking requirements.
A layer picking attachment on a forklift truck makes it possible to pick single or multiple layers of products, and allows the user to build up mixed pallets quickly, safely and efficiently with minimal manual labour. In a warehouse or distribution centre, picking usually represents about 25 percent of all labour costs. This type of attachment can typically process orders in excess of 1000 cases per hour, compared to 100-250 cases per hour manually.
A forklift truck attachment will increase labour efficiency within a warehouse operation. A specialist layer picking attachment is a cost-effective way to handle single or multiple layers of a variety of goods, without the need for picking and packing by hand.
LayerMaster, from B&B Attachments, provides a solution for both layer picking and layer splitting loads. It allows a pallet to be quickly broken down or built up by clamping layers, and can be adjusted for a wide range of products including boxed and frozen goods, glass and plastics containers, tinned products and plastic trays. Very versatile, it can lift up to half of a 2400mm high pallet at a time or, alternatively, just a single layer of boxes, thereby enabling the load to be quickly broken down or built up by clamping single or multiple layers. The open centre version is capable of lifting a full height 2400mm load.
LayerMaster is unique in the way it clamps on all four sides of the product – which means minimal pressure is required to hold the load. Where a number of different layer weights (or product types) are required to be handled, a multi stage valve is supplied as standard to enable up to 3 pressures to be selected, which can be set by B&B’s experienced engineers.
The LayerMaster system is now widely used throughout the fresh produce sector and can be seen at most major supermarket distribution centres. The speed and versatility of the patented system can help businesses reduce time, labour, repetitive strain injury claims and significantly increase safe working practices and productivity.
The market is now changing from height reduction of loads being the norm, to now seeing more and more companies looking to order pick. This new approach is rapidly being applied to more and more applications.