SSI Case Picking

The SSI Case Picking System by SSI SCHAEFER is a modularly expandable overall solution for store-friendly palletizing of retail units.

Depalletizing Robot at Schaeffler

SSI Case Picking

Store-optimized compilation of pallets with SSI Case Picking

The SSI Case Picking system by SSI SCHAEFER is a full, modularly expandable solution for store-optimized palletizing of retail units.

By using SSI Case Picking, food retailers benefit from perfectly packed pallets and trolleys for efficient store delivery.

  • The solution serves to ensure delivery quality despite ever more dynamic market requirements. The SSI SCHAEFER system enables the automatic compilation of mixed pallets with a wide range of items and packing variants for store-optimized deliveries. Thanks to proven technologies that are in constant development. The modular palletizing system is characterized by efficiency, flexibility and scalability.

  • We can also tap into our in-house software and service competence.

  • The standardized modules of the SSI Case Picking system are adapted according to customer requirements and meet the demands of the food market segment incl. frozen food and fresh produce, non-food, beverages and other sensitive merchandise.

What options do grocers have to make their warehouses fit and efficient for store-optimized delivery?

The answer: Modularly expandable, individually designed and reliable overall solutions for high market requirements.

The intelligent SSI Case Picking system combines various system modules along the intralogistics process chain – from goods-in to storage to picking to goods-out – into a reliable overall solution for store-optimized palletizing of retail units:

  • Depalletizing and palletizing modules: State-of-the-art robotic applications used in depalletizing and palletizing modules ensure reliable processes and gentle handling of a wide product range.

  • Highly dynamic storage solutions for small load carriers: Flexible single-level shuttle systems for bins, cartons and trays are used for high performance rates.

  • Optional: Goods-to-person work stations: The system can access each individual item at any time – individual items can also be picked for processing online orders from the e-commerce sales channel.

  • Intelligent software modules control processes, flow of goods as well as palletizing robots and thus ensure optimum procedures and perfectly packed pallets.

All of the process steps can be implemented either manually, semi-automatically or fully automatically. Further semi-automatic components (e.g. depalletizing work stations) can be added to the modular system to enable tailor-made and individual solutions.

Based on this expertise, the smart in-house technologies are fully and reliably integrated into holistic logistics processes.

  • The portfolio is complemented with customized service and maintenance offers to ensure high performance and maximum availability of the intralogistics system over the entire life cycle.

  • The modular system design also allows combination with other systems as well as integration into different technologies – in particular intelligent software modules. This increases the users' flexibility and competitive ability.

Our solution: automated case picking systems that are based on state-of-the-art technologies and can be integrated holistically

The SSI Case Picking system is a unique system configuration for automatic, store-optimized palletizing of all kinds of retail units.

The case picking system solution was launched in 2008 for the automatic compilation of shipping units in the business segments and has been honored with several awards, including the renowned MM Logisitik Award (2008). SSI SCHAEFER continuously develops their wide expert knowledge in the Food Retail market sector.

  1. The SSI Case Picking receives entire pallets from suppliers at goods-in and transports them to automatic depalletizing using a conveying system or automated guided vehicles (AGVs). There, robots automatically unload the pallets either completely or partially layer by layer. For this process, state-of-the-art robotics technology is used to ensure gentle product handling.

  2. The layers of the retail units are then buffered individually in an automated picking warehouse. Here, highly dynamic single-level shuttle systems by SSI SCHAEFER are used.

    In case of higher performance requirements, the shuttle picking warehouse can be designed as a module of the SSI Case Picking system using the 3D-Matrix Solution®: The 3D-Matrix is a highly dynamic solution that enables storage, buffering and sequencing in one system. The temporarily stored cases can be handed over to the palletizing robot in the correct sequence.

  3. The intelligent modules of the logistics software WAMAS® by SSI SCHAEFER calculate the optimum compilation of retail units retrieved from the 3D-Matrix as they are automatically transferred to order pallets by robots. The pallets are transported to goods-out either by conveying system or AGVs from SSI SCHAEFER.

Robot Material Flow Controller & industrial image processing

Every robot is only as good as the software it is controlled by. With its comprehensive software systems expertise, SSI SCHAEFER already has all the necessary knowledge in-house. This way users receive the optimum combination of software, intralogistics hardware and industrial image processing from a single source. The modules of the WAMAS® logistics software make robots more “intelligent” and fit for holistic logistics applications.

The central component of the palletizing robot control system is what’s called the Robot Material Flow Controller (RMC). It processes the 3D vision data, which it then uses to set the movements of the robots. Thanks to the modular structure of the WAMAS® software suite, specifically adapted solutions can be implemented.

Industrial image processing with state-of-the-art sensors is one of the key technologies of automation. It can be used to control machines intelligently, automate processes, and verify and check items.

Furthermore, corresponding systems check quality criteria and provide valuable data for process optimization. All parameters relevant for optimum product handling are saved in the system. Possible changes are recognized by the WAMAS® Vision module and will be taken into account in the future in a "self-learning" manner for this item.

Pack Pattern Generator as central software technology

The smart Pack Pattern Generator calculates an optimized pallet according to individual specifications. This is done by using sophisticated algorithms and is based on the information from image-processing systems. Different criteria are weighted according to the customer:

  • Volume optimization

  • Stability

  • Certain restrictions and product groups

  • Store-specific structure

Immediately after the calculation is completed, the calculated pallet is visualized and the order can be started and processed by SSI Case Picking. The system accesses the ordered items by batch number or best before date or according to the First In, First Out (FIFO) principle.

If there are malfunctions during the automatic palletizing, e.g. due to a damaged package, the order can be packed onto the same pallet with a packing pattern modified in real-time or, if necessary for stability reasons, the order can be repacked onto a new pallet.

The SSI Pack Pattern Generator enables the packing layout for each individual pallet and store to be configured individually and applied automatically. This intelligent best in class packing algorithm calculates and implements volume-optimized, stable and store--optimized packing patterns.

The sequenced in-feed and palletizing of all respective retail units is essential to create the “perfect pallet”. The temporarily stored units are retrieved from the picking warehouse in the correct order and transported to the palletizing robots in the optimized sequence. Thanks to the 3D-Matrix Solution this takes place without any performance loss and without any additional sub-systems for subsequent sequencing. They rapidly and reliably pack the goods onto pallets or into roll containers using the previously calculated, optimum packing pattern for each store.

Packing Pallets Correctly - What is Necessary?

The concept of the perfect pallet can differ from customer to customer.

These are possible criteria for an optimum pallet:

1. Stability-optimized for long journeys on poor roads
2. Volume-optimized to reduce transport costs
3. Store-optimized packing for faster replenishment of supermarket shelves.

Thanks to the Pack Pattern Generator, the criteria of the packing layout for each individual pallet and branch can be defined individually and the perfect pallet is calculated automatically. The formation of pallets with a packing sequence adapted to the store layout saves walking times when stocking up goods, especially in large stores, reduces the workload for staff and optimizes processes as well as customer satisfaction and thus sales figures at the point of sale.

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What are the benefits of SSI Case Picking?

A full or partial automation of the material flow in the warehouse including order picking and palletizing of various retail units, cases and cartons with the SSI Case Picking has many advantages, particularly in the food retail sector:

Thanks to the automation of processes and the implementation of ergonomic work stations, warehouse operators can automate heavy physical activities, optimize their personnel deployment and thus meet the country-specific, sometimes very strict, requirements with regard to occupational safety in the warehouse (e.g. in the deep-freeze warehouse).

Automated picking and palletizing of a wide item and packing range enables smooth operation 24/7. Separate picking warehouses for different temperature ranges (down to -30° C) can be implemented within the system.

All item retrievals from every storage area and at every station are booked in the WAMAS® system, including batch data and best before dates, so that the operator is always informed about and can dispose of his current inventory.

Automatic storage and picking systems make optimum use of the storage space in terms of footprint and height, as the aisles for storage-retrieval machines or conveying sections are narrower and higher than rack aisles for manual order picking trolleys or forklift trucks. Automatic depalletizing or palletizing is also done in robot cells in a space-saving manner.

Palletizing robots are able to create different pallet sizes and roll containers in a stable, volume-optimized and store-optimized sequence. The possible combination of case and piece picking is able to process different order sizes and handle as well as palletize a wide item range in one system.

With an optimum balance between storage system, sequencing and palletizing, high performance rates of the overall system with a high degree of space utilization can be achieved.

The calculation of an optimum pack pattern, the careful handling and stacking of the units and the pallet wrapping with stretch film to secure the load ensure a high level of stability for the mixed pallet.

Efficiency increases thanks to store-optimized palletization

Food retail ensures that consumers are supplied with everyday goods. The demands on the width and depth of the product range as well as the quality and security of supply have increased enormously over the past ten years. Diverse store formats offer an extensive range of dry, fresh and frozen products in a large variety and different packages. This results in a vast spectrum of requirements for intralogistics and the handling of the product range:

  • Consideration of best before dates and traceability of batch numbers.

  • Gentle handling of often fragile products for appealing and customer-friendly appearance in store.

  • High flexibility and efficiency capacity of the logistics system due to recurring peaks, resulting from seasonal and sometimes weekly campaigns.

  • Stores prefer multiple deliveries with smaller batch sizes and store-optimized packed pallets and roll containers to be able to replenish shelves quickly.

  • Volume optimization for transport.

  • The growing e-commerce share for the food industry and in everyday products calls for new concepts in warehouse logistics, such as delivery to the doorstep or customer pick-up.

  • Rising energy and personnel costs, staff shortages and higher requirements in the fields of occupational health and safety in the warehouse.

  • High performance requirements and deadline pressure in food logistics. In deep-freeze warehouses, employees have to wear e.g. personal protective equipment and stick to regular warm-up breaks.

  • Rising prices for logistics space lead to topics such as space saving and optimum use of space when building storage facilities.

All of these developments reinforce the trend towards semi-automation and full automation in the area of picking trade units as well as in the compilation of individual items. The technology must be able to be used for all temperature zones in food logistics and to automatically and stably pack containers of different sizes and weights on different pallets and roll containers.

Practical case picking solutions

Get an insight into recently completed projects and projects that are about to be implemented including SSI Case Picking:

CCA Coca-Cola Amatil Richlands Brisbane Site

SSI SCHAEFER proud to partner with Coca-Cola Amatil


Grocery, Logistics, Sustainability: Customized Solution for Absolute Sequence

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