Original Press Release
Westfalia Technologies Introduces an Industry First: Automatic Layer Picking System Provides Storage/Retrieval in Multiple Deep Configuration
Press release date: January 13, 2005
New system accommodates storage configurations from 1 to 12 positions deep, saving space and typically providing an internal rate of return of 20% or more.
YORK, Pa., January 12, 2005 - Westfalia Technologies (www.WestfaliaUSA.com), a leader in warehousing automation for more than 30 years, has introduced an Automatic Layer Picking System that provides an industry first: the ability to store and retrieve layers of cases in a multiple deep configuration without a pallet. With the ability to store and retrieve layers from one to 12 deep, the Westfalia Automatic Layer Picking System allows warehouses and distribution centers to store more products in less space. Many companies using the new system will be able to achieve an internal rate of return of 20 percent or more.
Automatic layer picking is growing in popularity in distribution centers and warehouses throughout the world. Westfalia Technologies responded to this trend by developing an automated system that stores and retrieves layers of cases in multiple deep configuration without the need for a slave pallet. This provides a solution that is compact, allows for immediate order fulfillment and eliminates the problem of having to use slave pallets to store and move unit loads at the "layer" level. In fact, the patented layer support system and retrieval method can handle any case and any pallet pattern.
Coupled with the automatic layer picking system is a robot that de-palletizes and re-palletizes layers. When a pallet load is presented to the robot, it is automatically de-palletized in layers and each layer is conveyed to the Layer Picking System where it is stored. As orders are filled, the Layer Picking System retrieves layers, and the robot stacks them back up again in the appropriate order to create a "rainbow," or mixed pallet.
The integration of order selection within this layer storage system allows layers to be automatically replenished to a pick aisle for case/piece picking. Layers are presented to the order selector four or five levels high, allowing up to four or five SKUs to be presented to a 40-inch pick face without manual intervention. This significantly reduces the order selector's travel distance and fulfills the goal of automatic case replenishment at the layer level instead of the pallet or case level.
"Warehouse automation is the last frontier for reducing long-term distribution and logistics costs," said Daniel Labell, president of Westfalia Technologies. "We developed the Automatic Layer Picking System to help manufacturing companies and distribution centers operate more efficiently and economically. The Westfalia Automatic Layer Picking System provides a solution that is compact, fully automated and flexible."
About Westfalia Technologies For 30 years, Westfalia Technologies, Inc. has been a leader in providing material handling systems designed to meet specific customer requirements. The company creates innovative material handling solutions to support customer distribution processes through the 21st century.