Flat Pack Picking

Picking of hanging garments with RFID scanner

Flat Pack Picking

Automated Picking for Heavy and Bulky Goods

SSI SCHAEFER’s scalable Flat Pack Picking solution offers efficient, fully automatic picking of heavy and bulky items with gantry robots.

Loading heavy, unwieldy goods onto pallets manually is an exhausting, time-consuming task in warehouses. Picking furniture or furniture parts often involves combining goods of very different sizes and weights on one pallet. SSI SCHAEFER’s unique Flat Pack Picking solution is the answer: Based on pack patterns calculated for each specific case, a gantry robot picks the goods efficiently and fully automatically, minimizing the volume. Thus Flat Pack Picking reduces warehouse employees’ workload and provides a more ergonomic working environment. The highly innovative Flat Pack Picking solution can process deliveries to brick-and-mortar businesses in parallel with online orders for end customers–quickly, reliably and efficiently. In addition, the new pallet picking solution ensures a constant material flow. The Flat Pack Picking module occupies as much as 50% less floor space than tunnel picking, which requires walkways and separate replenishment areas. Reduced per-order logistics costs, as well as lower fixed costs, benefit operators and quickly cover the investment costs. From hardware to software, SSI SCHAEFER is a single source for all components. The Flat Pack Picking solution has a modular design, can scale up flexibly and can adapt to e-commerce business growth at any time. Besides the furniture industry, the concept also applies to other sectors that handle large, heavy goods, such as wood/metal blanks, fence elements or windows.

An international panel of experts agree that the intelligent Flat Pack Picking robotics solution is a highly innovative approach. In 2022, the panel awarded the coveted IFOY Award (International Intralogistics and Forklift Truck of the Year Award) in the market comparison in the “Integrated Warehouse Solution” category.

The Solution

Explned in one minute (insert Video)

Your Challenges

How to identify potential improvements and meet challenges handling heavy, bulky pallets

  • E-Commerce Growth

One logistics center needs to handle deliveries to both end customers and store branches.

  • Physically Demanding Tasks

Handling heavy, bulky items manually places high demands on employees’ physical strength.

  • Material Flow Bottlenecks

Handling heavy, bulky goods manually takes time, stalling the flow of goods.

  • Space Requirements


Advantages of Flat Pack Picking, the Solution for Bulky Goods Picking

Our Promise

For safe planning, operation and expandability
We can guarantee this

  • Efficient, Optimized Palletizing

Pack patterns, newly calculated for each specific case forms the basis for assembling stable pallets with reduced volume.

  • Space Savings

Flat Pack Picking occupies minimal floor space in both new and existing warehouses.

  • Expandability

The solution can be tailored to specific needs and expanded at any time.

  • Less Physical Strain for Employees

Creates a more ergonomic, attractive working environment

  • Process Reliability

Constant material flow and safe handling of heterogeneous items

  • Reliable 24/7 Operation

Fully automated turnkey picking solution

  • Everything from a Single Source / an All-in-One Package

The Flat Pack Picking Module’s hardware and software are designed for high performance, and SSI SCHAEFER is a single source supplier.


A Practical Design

Flat Pack Picking is a turnkey system for reliable, fully automated handling of a wide range of heterogeneous items – specially developed for the furniture industry. This order picking solution grew out of an initiative of SSI SCHAEFER specialists, who collaborated with a multinational furnishings company to realise it as commercially viable. In this environment, the Flat Pack Picking solution complements a high-bay warehouse, serving as an automatic pallet buffer for picking. Along the buffer aisle, four RO-BER FP150 series gantry robots do the picking, accessing A-items – which are provided statically – as well as B- and C- items – which are provided dynamically – within their action area. The gantry robots are equipped with multifunctional grippers that automatically adapt to both the dimensions of the items and the type of packaging by means of servo-motor-adjustable suction cups. The gantry robots and grippers were developed by RO-BER Industrieroboter GmbH, a subsidiary of SSI SCHAEFER. Vision technology, in combination with the WAMAS® logistics software, supports this process, allowing each picking robot to quickly identify the proper position of the requested item. Items up to 2.5 m in length and weighing more than 60 kg are safely picked up from the source pallet and transferred to the ready-to-use order pallet. The removal of intermediate layers is also fully automated. The stored SSI Pack Pattern Generator ensures a safe, optimized arrangement of the items on the order pallets, which are prepared for further processing via a buffer as part of the outbound process.

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