Fast and efficient, the shuttle system is a welcome addition to the modern warehouse. This innovative technology increases speed, accuracy, and throughput in warehouses and distribution centres quite significantly.
Performance is ramped up through the use of three decoupled systems operating on three axes. Conveyors distribute the load to a selected aisle. Lifts on one or both ends of each aisle or even distributed along the aisles for even higher performance, travel up and down to distribute the load to the required level while autonomous shuttles move horizontally up and down the aisle to put away, store and retrieve the products.
The throughput per aisle is further enhanced by increasing the number of shuttles operating in a single aisle. Some lifts are also designed to raise and lower more than one load at a time.
How much faster can it be? When compared with the ASRS using cranes for storage and retrieval, each shuttle per-se due to its lighter structure already provides a significant increase in single machine performance. Different shuttle solutions (multi-level, single-level, multiple shuttles per level) in combination with the right lifting and conveyor arrangements allow for virtually unlimited performances.
Shuttle systems are also extremely flexible. Different technologies allow for handling of pallets, layers, cartons, bins, trays and totes in variable sizes. Being modular, such systems can be easily scaled up to fit the customer’s requirements today and in the future.
Who can best benefit from these qualities? It is ideally suited for modern retail, where products are sold through a multitude of channels - from brick and mortar stores to mobile phones, websites and interactive TVs. In this Omni-channel world, manufacturers, retailers and distributors have to react promptly to cyclical, seasonal and changing product ranges. More options for the consumer can only mean more SKUs for the DCs.
The complexity in order fulfilment is further compounded by how orders are placed. Order sizes are smaller as well as more frequent, with some shipped directly to individuals in ever shorter delivery windows.
With its ability to support big orders with a high degree of inventory accuracy, the shuttle system is an invaluable partner for modern retail.
SSI Schaefer Shuttle Family
SSI Schaefer has a portfolio of shuttle systems to accommodate pallets, trays, cartons or bins, on one or more levels - the Schaefer Lift&Run, a highly dynamic multi-level shuttle for pallets in a channel storage system; the Schaefer Tray System, a multi-level shuttle for pallet layers; the Navette, a multi-level shuttle for small load carriers in fully automatic warehouses; and its latest addition, the Cuby.
Introduced this year, the Cuby is a single-level shuttle system designed to transport bins or cartons weighing up to 35 kgs. It comprises of the rack, at least one lift, one shuttle on each storage level, a shuttle hoist and maintenance platforms at the rear and the warehouse control system. By optimizing the functional distribution between rack and shuttle, fewer sensors and actuators are required on the shuttle and load handling device, which makes the Cuby more cost-efficient and reliable than comparable systems.
The Cuby is also scalable. To maximize storage density, it can be scaled to up to 100 metres and a height of up to 15 metres with an unlimited number of aisles. It can also be adapted to existing haul structures and integrate existing columns
For more information on shuttles and their benefits, call our sales and marketing team. They will only be too happy to assist you.