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New automatic trailer loading and unloading solution from Ancra Systems

Ancra Systems have successfully developed and implemented an innovative automatic trailer loading and unloading solution for high volume catalogue and internet logistics. By automating the loading and unloading process, the cycle times per trailer are reduced significantly. To optimize the logistic process for one of the major German retail businesses – BAUR Versand, Ancra have developed a triple-floor loading and unloading system with rollers.

This specially designed solution allows BAUR’s logistics service provider, Hermes Fulfilment GmbH, to deliver a higher volume of products within a shorter time without damage to the goods. These factors, which are essential in the logistics online sales business, justified the investment in this project. Vanderlande Industries GmbH were overall system integrators for the project. Ancra Systems installed the systems in three custom made swap bodies that shuttle (± 2 km)between a computer controlled central warehouse and the distribution centre where orders are picked.

The installation consists of a triple-floor system with rollers and is mounted in each swap body, ensuring loading capacity of 63 standard plastic boxes (700x900x410) filled with various products. Each floor level comprises three lanes of seven boxes and is individually powered by a 380V electrical motor. The levels are (un)loaded by automated lifts installed at both the warehouse and the distribution centre.

The brakes are automatically activated when the system is in operation, to ensure that the swap bodies cannot be driven away during the loading process. Furthermore, docking roller sets are mounted at the tail-end of the chassis to guide the trailer into a positioning frame installed in front of the dock. This ensures the correct alignment of the swap body in vertical and horizontal position. The swap bodies are equipped with pneumatic shutter doors. A service door is located at the front of the swap bodies for easy maintenance of the drive units. The boxes are loaded in rows of three, enabling a loading or unloading time of just 7 minutes by conveying the boxes at a speed of 19m/min. To prevent goods against damage during transportation, the rollers are locked and the boxes (maximum weight 70 kilograms) are secured with inflatable airbags.

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