Expandable, modular automated access system allows a single operator to pick from up to 200 tonnes of components.
Inventory access specialist Kardex has launched the largest and most efficient, fully automated parts storage and management system it has ever designed. The new Shuttle XPlus allows a single operator to load or access tens of thousands of individual items from more than 2000 possible shelf positions in up to four 20m high storage towers.
Building on the proven speed and reliability of the Kardex Shuttle range of automated vertical storage and retrieval systems, the Shuttle XPlus uses a new multi-directional extractor system that moves in three dimensions within the unit to allow rapid delivery of components from any point to a single operator access position.
The system uses the Kardex OptiFlex intelligent storage planning technology to automatically weigh, measure and select the best storage position for loaded components, adjusting internal tray positions in 25mm increments to ensure that parts ranging from the smallest to the largest are stored in the most efficient manner possible. With typical storage density improvements of 80 per cent compared to conventional shelving systems, the Shuttle XPlus system can replace up to 100m2 of conventional shelving with a storage footprint of only 20m2.
“Shuttle XPlus allows manufacturers and wholesalers to consider automated access technology where it wouldn't previously have been practical or cost effective,” says Richard Price, Marketing Services Manager at Kardex Systems UK. “A single operator can have access to a huge number of pick-locations directly from a single, ergonomically designed workstation, which makes the system ideal for applications like parts distribution, where picking requirements are difficult to predict but rapid delivery is essential for customer satisfaction.”
The multi-directional extractor used on the Shuttle XPlus can travel at speeds of up to 2.2m/s, thanks to a secure central guiding system. This allows parts to be delivered from anywhere in the machine in less than ten seconds. In use, the OptiFlex software interacts seamlessly with the customer's warehouse management system to background-pick items and maintain maximum operator productivity. Additional pick points can be included at any point on the machine if required, allowing it to serve multiple operators working on different building floors.
The system's modular design allows customers to select the optimum height and width for their application, and allows for future expansion should requirements change. As with all Kardex automated systems, customer requirements are evaluated by Kardex specialists prior to system design and turnkey installation. Mission-critical reliability is ensured by the nationwide network of Kardex service and support engineers, 24/7 back-up and remote diagnostics capability.