In order to maintain hygiene standards and throughput capacity, these material flows impact the HBW system technology. SSI SCHAEFER solved this problem with the smart approach of combining two different automation systems: Empties handling in the HBW is performed on the lower four levels only, which in total have a storage capacity of approx. 8,400 pallets. The Exyz storage and retrieval machines equipped with the SSI Orbiter LHD as load handling device, perform the storage and retrieval tasks. Schaefer’s Lift&Run system (SLR) is used in the same aisles to handle full pallets in the channel with the remaining 44,400 pallet storage locations. Four SLR, also equipped with the SSI Orbiter LHD as load handling devices, are stacked and operate in each aisle. During peak times, up to 495 inbound pallets and up to 750 outbound pallets are moved per hour. Added to this are additional transport quantities, which, however, are only processed directly via the electric monorail systems.

For special requirements SSI SCHAEFER has also developed a new type of inspection system for fully automated empties detection based on its WAMAS® Vision software, programmed special algorithms for the control software, and tailored the features of the HBW. Background: The empties pallets returned from retailers to the logistics center consist mainly of a mix of products and bottle sizes. However, the production systems fill by product. The installed empties management for reusable bottles includes an intelligent empties assessment and material flow control as well as the system technology. In the goods-in area, two cameras automatically detect and evaluate the degree to which each pallet is mixed and evaluate the case structure. WAMAS® uses the data from the Vision system to determine how many cases of the relevant empties can be found on the incoming empties pallet and, based on the degree in which the empties are mixed and the needs of the production lines, controls their further transport. The needs-based supply of filling lines with empties is a central function of the new logistics system.