Features and innovations

Are you still carrying or are you already automating? - Palletising robots at HAKRO

Our customer HAKRO, a leading supplier of corporate fashion for work, leisure and sport, is increasingly relying on automated and digitalised processes in its sustainability strategy. Digital and automated? Of course, SuPCIS-L8 and SuPCIS-MFC (Material Flow Controller) cannot be missing! Together with a new fully comprehensive palletising system, we are helping HAKRO to achieve its goals in logistics: to support the employees in their daily work in logistics and to relieve them physically. What does this look like in practice?

The palletising system consists of a container and pallet conveyor system including control technology from GEBHARDT and palletising robots from ro-ber.

After the delivered cartons have been unloaded from the truck and placed on the tote conveyor line, they pass several reporting points with scanners and sensors. These record various information about the cartons. The scanners read the label on the carton (the so-called LHM label), which uniquely identifies the carton and its contents. With the help of the sensors, a contour check is carried out, whereby the length, width and height and from this the volume of the respective carton are determined. In addition, a scale is integrated into the container conveyor technology, which is used to determine the weight of a carton.

The container conveyor control transmits the recorded data to the WMS, which uses this data to decide whether the respective carton can be palletised automatically by the palletising robot and must be moved to the palletising system or whether the carton is palletised manually and thus discharged to the manual palletising station. (In each case, the transport order is assigned by the MFC to the control system of the container conveyor). If, for example, the contours of the carton are outside the tolerance or the LHM label could not be detected, the carton must not run over the palletiser.

In the palletising system, the cartons are moved to transfer stabs, from where they are picked up by the robot and transported to the respective target pallet. The cartons are usually formed as a pair, as the palletising robot can transport two cartons at a time. Single trips are only made if no other carton with the same sorting criteria is detected on the tote conveyor line in the specified time period or if it is a no-read carton. In such a case, the LHM label could not be read by the scanner at the beginning, so that the information about the carton and the article it contains is missing.

As soon as the carton or pair of cartons has arrived at the transfer point of the tote conveyor, SuPCIS-L8 instructs the palletising robot to transport the totes to the target pallet determined by the WMS. When the pallet is full, the WMS or the MFC requests the pallet conveyor to automatically remove the pallet. After the full pallet has been removed, a new pallet is automatically fed from the pallet stack.

With the introduction of the palletising robots, the employees save significantly on muscle power and, above all, on the kilometres travelled per day.

You can find out more about HAKRO and its sustainability strategy, for example, in the Sustainability Report 2019.

Contact us and talk to one of our experts on the subject.