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SSI Schaefer develops first fully automatic, fast and precise order picking cell Robo Pick

Picking is the most challenging task in warehouse automation. Automatic solutions have only been available for border areas and 90% of picking is still performed by employees. It has not been possible to replace the human eye and the human hand, at least not with an economic solution for everyday use.

Up until now – SSI Schaefer has developed the first fully automatic, fast and precise picking cell that can smoothly integrate into existing warehouse set-ups, achieving up to 2,400 picks per hour – the new Schaefer Robo Pick. The innovative two-step image processing system automatically recognises the position of products and controls the picking robot – therefore removing the need to enter individual product characteristics and features or to arrange products in a particular position.

Typical users of the new Schaefer Robo Pick are likely to be wholesalers and mail order traders taking advantage of its impressive average shipment figures – the Robo Pick can compile a shipment of two to 20 product types in the correct quantity according to customer order from a range of 5,000 to 50,000 products in stock several thousand times a day for individual customer orders. This results in more than 100,000 individual articles picked on a daily basis.

Up to now all attempts to automate picking using robots has failed due to the lacking flexibility in picture processing. SSI Schaefer has achieved this technological breakthrough using the innovative combination of 3D and 2D picture processing. In a matter of seconds the picture processing cell identifies four to six pickable products on the article tray passing by. The picture processing is not affected by products in several layers or inclined position, jet-black articles, round products or asymmetric or beveled packages.

The Schaefer Robo Pick makes use of the already existing allocations of transport units and products in automated warehouses to ensure that the customer receives the correct products. Each carton, tray or tote – the transport unit is always allocated to a particular article. For instance, the blue socks are in carton no. 4711 and the red felt-tip pens are in tray no. 4321. No conveying system in an automated warehouse would work without this information. The Schaefer Robo Pick does not require any additional information and for this reason can be perfectly integrated into existing systems.

The Schaefer Robo Pick offers unprecedented price-performance-ratio and SSI Schaefer is committed to providing sustainable innovations with a high return on investment for its customers.

The picking error rate can be significantly reduced compared to manual picking and considering the costs for processing returns due to incorrect deliveries, the Schaefer Robo Pick clearly shows its profitability gains.

Schaefer Robo Pick gains include:
2,400 picks per hour
100,000 items picked per day
Costs less than corresponding conventional workstations with the same throughput
Can process orders outside usual shift times
High speed reduces order processing time
Flexible and fast picture processing
The application of the Schaefer Robo Pick is not limited to order picking – it is also highly suitable for returns handling, an area of logistics gaining more and more importance – especially in mail order trade.

SSI Schaefer offers fully automatic picking with robots for containers, such as cartons or packages of several products, and individual products alike.

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