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Warehouse automation supplier Knapp to create interactive virtual warehouse at IMHX 2010

Warehouse automation supplier KNAPP is planning an exciting interactive experience for visitors to its stand at IMHX in November.

"We’ll be presenting a real-time grocery retail application," explains Craig Rollason, the company’s UK Head of Sales and Marketing, "in which visitors can navigate their way around a warehouse using a joystick to discover various automated handling solutions." This brand-new technology has been realised in collaboration with one of Austria’s leading technology centres, Ars Electronica in Linz.

The KNAPP stand, number 20D30, will also feature a live demonstration of the group’s new dispatch buffer solution – the OSR Shuttle sorter – which uses technology from its proven OSR Shuttle range. A modular solution installed in the goods-out area, the OSR Shuttle™ sorter is designed to make dispatch processes both more efficient and more flexible. OSR Shuttle sorters have already been successfully installed at the sites of pharmaceutical wholesalers COFEX in Spain and Cooprofar in Portugal. Totes ready for dispatch are fed to flow-rack channels by a shuttle, with each customer order assigned to one or more channels. Channels are selected so that the driver can load his vehicle according to the sequence of his route, with visual guidance on large monitors minimising errors.

KNAPP will also be promoting the OSR Shuttle system itself, which combines shuttle-based storage with pick-to-light stations to achieve up to six times the rate of totes in/out than a traditional ASRS, while having about 20% less footprint and using less than 10% of the energy consumption. KNAPP is celebrating the recent delivery of its 5000th shuttle, with over 100 customers worldwide now enjoying the benefits of the OSR Shuttle range and orders for a further 2,000 shuttles already in the pipeline. This figure includes the units required to install the world’s largest OSR Shuttle system for Hermes Fulfilment – part of the leading retail and services group, Otto. The system, which will feature some 176,000 storage locations, will be installed in Hermes Fulfilment’s distribution centre in Haldensleben, Germany, with system start-up scheduled for autumn 2010. The OSR Shuttle will be the heart of a new automatic returns system, with a storage capacity of approximately 1 million products. Supplying 30 workstations on two levels, the highly dynamic OSR Shuttle will process up to 15,000 items per hour at peak times.

Having recently purchased the leading German overhead conveyor systems specialist, Dürkopp Fördertechnik, KNAPP will be explaining to visitors its strengths in the supply of integrated solutions to the fashion industry. This strategic acquisition enables KNAPP to supply comprehensive warehouse automation solutions to clients in the fashion industry, optimising handling efficiency for both hanging garments and flat-pack items. Comments David James, Managing Director of KNAPP UK Ltd, "This is a very exciting and welcome development for our company. The benefits to our customers are immediately obvious and we are already working together with our new colleagues at Dürkopp on a variety of opportunities."

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