SSI Piece Picking Simplifies Single Piece Picking

Whether in industrial, e-commerce, or the pharmaceutical and cosmetics sector: Wherever single-piece picking is required in the small parts area, maximum precision is essential – with growing product assortments and increasing availability and quality demands. In the interview, SSI SCHAEFER experts Markus Jammernegg, Head of Modules, and Thomas Elstner, Head of Product Management, Product Line Software, provide insights into the fully automated solution for single piece picking SSI Piece Picking, which is characterized by its gentle product handling. The robotic solution takes over repetitive tasks and speeds up picking processes thanks to intelligent software.


What’s special about SSI Piece Picking?

Markus Jammernegg: In recent years, robots have taken up a position as a supporting technology in intralogistics, which is used more and more to handle picking tasks and to reduce employees’ workloads. SSI Piece Picking is a fully automated robotics solution for single-piece picking. The solution speeds up and automates manual picking, which is highly repetitive and physically demanding for human workers. In combination with manual workstations, the SSI Piece Picking solution can handle peak times and seasonal fluctuations efficiently. The robot replaces reaching into the bin. It picks up the product with a suction pad and places the item in the appropriate target container.

How does the SSI SCHAEFER Piece Picking solution work?

Thomas Elstner: A robot is only as good as the software that controls it. Our WAMAS Piece Picking software is able to reliably identify the individual parts without errors, determine the ideal gripping point, and deposit the items in a way that saves space. The automatic scan function can optionally record serial numbers, batch numbers, and expiration dates. All the software and control levels of all the components are combined into a so-called black box within the Piece Picking cell. This allows the picking process to proceed independently without constant communication with the MFS (Material Flow System) or WMS (Warehouse Management System).

What motivated this further development?

Markus Jammernegg: We’d already implemented major international projects with Piece Picking robots. Drawing on the systems already implemented, we expanded our specifications for further development to include functions like pick-and-place and to cover a wider range of items. However, in order to represent these additional features, it was necessary to expand the gripping space and maintain performance despite more time-intensive processes. Therefore, we needed to switch the technology from an articulated arm to gantry robots. It was this development that enabled us to draw on the 40 years of robotics know-how from the SSI SCHAEFER company RO-BER.

What customers is SSI Piece Picking suitable for?

Thomas Elstner: Single-piece picking is one of the most cost-intensive processes in the material flow and requires a high level of concentration from employees. If the goal is to reduce their workflow while making order processing more efficient, the combination of the picking robot and WAMAS Piece Picking is the perfect choice. This application is especially appropriate for slow and medium movers and is easily combined with our conveying and shuttle systems to form intelligent overall solutions. Thanks to the high reliability of the system, SSI Piece Picking is suitable for e-commerce and for manufacturing, as well as Third-Party Logistics Providers (3PL) across all sectors. The solution is also appropriate for goods that require gentle handling and error-free picking – extremely relevant factors within the healthcare and cosmetics sector in particular.


Thomas Elstner Head of Product Management, Product Line Software, and Markus Jammernegg, Head of Modules at SSI SCHAEFER.

About the authors:

Markus Jammernegg began his career in 1999 as a hardware commissioning engineer and later as a site manager. From 2002 he held various leadership positions in the business unit customer service & support at SSI SCHAEFER in Graz. In 2012, he transitioned to the R&D department and became a product manager for handling systems in 2016. From 2018 onwards, his focus shifted to robotics, where he served as a product manager. In 2021, he took on the role of Cluster Manager for Picking, Handling, and Robotics, and as of April 1st, 2023, he holds the position of Head of Modules. With his extensive experience and expertise, Markus Jammernegg drives innovations within the company.

Thomas Elstner started his career at SSI SCHAEFER in 2001 as a software developer controls. Since 2020, he has been working as a product manager at SSI SCHAEFER IT Solutions and is responsible for the SSI Case Picking and SSI Piece Picking solutions for WAMAS Robotics. Prior to his current position, he held various roles within the company, including team leader in IT sales for the food retail market sector. From 2008 to 2016, he worked in presales and as a technical project manager at Salomon Automation GmbH, which was later restructured into SSI SCHAEFER IT Solutions. With his comprehensive knowledge, Thomas Elstner makes a significant contribution to the success of product management at SSI SCHAEFER.

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