As companies are seeking to reap the benefits of a fully integrated supply chain, it is crucial to find partners who know how to bring all the facets of warehouse logistics to maximum efficiency.

As companies are seeking to reap the benefits of a fully integrated supply chain, it is crucial to find partners who know how to bring all the facets of warehouse logistics to maximum efficiency.

Westfalia Technologies Inc. and Kuka Systems have just the experience and partnership for completely integrated warehouse logistics: high-density automated storage and retrieval systems (AS/RS) linked directly to robotic picking and palletizing, all of which is controlled and optimized with Savanna.NET Warehouse Management Software (WMS).

At NA 2010, Westfalia and Kuka will present a 45 minute presentation on the “Integration of AS/RS with High Speed Layer Picking – The Solution to Integrated Warehouse Logistics” on April 27.  The distribution process now requires the utmost flexibility and highest productivity from modern warehouse and logistics solutions. These requirements can only be met with innovative automation concepts. Together, Westfalia and Kuka have the experience to bring to reality the benefits of an integrated warehouse logistics solution which many supply-chain executives are seeking.

Westfalia’s warehouse system designs are based on their multiple deep Satellite technology, which provides the ability to create a dense storage system utilizing one- to 12-deep pallet storage lanes.  Starting from each facility’s specific inventory statistics, Westfalia’s engineers design the AS/RS to meet the needs of both high moving and slow moving inventory.  With the ability to store pallets in varying lane depths, the Satellite technology provides a high degree of flexibility often unavailable in competitors’ systems.  Westfalia’s AS/RS maximize storage space and provide significant operational savings in labor costs, energy costs and more.

A key advantage garnered from the Westfalia/ Kuka partnership is the design improvements that have led to the need for fewer conveyors.  Fewer conveyors in the system make it easier to automate smaller, existing facilities (thus greater space utilization) while also meeting or exceeding the throughput rates required by customers.  Specifically, Westfalia’s Satellite rack entry vehicle operates directly off the storage/retrieval machine (SRM) to transfer pallet loads directly out of storage into the palletizing area, thus linking reserve storage with pick faces.  This Satellite can be used as a chain conveyor by only moving its upper chains.  Depositing pallets onto an output conveyor is simple and fast. 

Kuka’s high-speed robotic palletizers are integrated into the warehouse design for high speed layer picking and palletizing, mixed layer picking and palletizing, layer forming, depalletizing, merchandiser stacking and more.  With Kuka A proven tools an integrated robotic solution can interface with Westfalia’s Savanna.NET WMS. This total integration ensures a high level of accuracy and flexibility in handling multiple package types that out-performs many traditional depalletizing solutions. Due to rising industry demands, Kuka has developed a completely integrated mixed palletizing solution that allows the order packages to flow to a robotic handling cell that can then palletize them independent of package types or sizes.

The core of the integrated order management is Savanna.NET Warehouse Management Software which plans, tracks, manages and reports in real time all product flows throughout a facility. Of vital importance to robotic palletizing is the calculation of “ideal” pallets based on parameters derived from various rule groups -- such as starting with full layers, considering stacking rules, created mixed layers based on package type’s class, usage of know pallet pattern templates for mixed layers - and all these product movements are controlled via Westfalia’s Savanna.NET WMS.

Westfalia Technologies Inc.

Kuka Systems North America