Efficiency is under pressure in intralogistics applications. Companies need more flexibility, the ability to stock a wider range of items within a smaller space and guaranteed faster retrieval times. At the same time, storage and handling requirements are increasingly shifting towards individual bins, trays and cardboard boxes. To cope with these demands, Kardex Remstar has developed a new generation of storage systems, which offers high order picking performance and provides a fast ROI, while consuming minimal energy and occupying less floor space.
The new LR 35 storage system consists of a shelf system with automatic bin handling, picking stations and its own logistics software. In the middle of the multi-segment shelf system is an aisle, where a moveable mast with a telescopic gripper operates. The control unit sets the gripper in motion depending on the electronic command issued by the software. It picks up a bin, cardboard box or tray filled with small parts and transports it to the picking station. The Kardex Remstar LR 35 can manage up to 500 order lines per picking station/hour when two or more units are combined or batch picking is used.
Guido Follert, head of the machinery and plant department at the Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics (IML), oversaw the innovation process for the LR 35 with his team. The IML in Dortmund (Germany) establishes links between basic research at universities and industrial needs and applications. "With the LR 35 we have enclosed in a housing an automated, concentrated and efficient storage logistics system," says Follert. Above all else, the new storage system can deliver this impressive performance without the need for a major plant engineering project.
Due to its high order picking performance, the LR 35 is suitable for slow-moving goods, giving omni-channel retailers, for instance, a crucial competitive advantage. It not only enables them to package several similar product ranges together to cut transport costs when delivering to stores, but also efficiently process individual orders for end users. Since many different slow-moving goods are the cause of the relatively high process, storage and picking costs, omni-channel retailers in particular can benefit from the LR 35.
The LR 35 helps medium-sized businesses and wholesalers that stock a high proportion of slow-moving goods to deliver such items very quickly and accurately with 24-hour service and overnight delivery. The LR 35 guarantees almost twice the order picking performance of the classic mini-load system, while occupying just 60 percent of the space. Interview with Guido Follert, head of the machinery and plant department at the Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics (IML), Dortmund (Germany).
What are the latest developments in the intralogistics industry?
Guido Follert: E-commerce and the requisite technology remain a key issue, particularly in relation to omni-channel retailing. This is especially interesting to companies that directly supply to retail chains, but also those that operate their own shops and have a sales channel in the form of their own e-commerce store. After all, the e-commerce sector is experiencing steady growth between six and seven percent.
What demands do current developments place on intralogistics?
Follert: Many medium-sized businesses are increasing efforts to automate and reorganize their processes in the area of intralogistics. That's because companies with a wide range of items are often no longer really in control of the product diversity due to the trend towards individualization. In addition, companies also have to manufacture and manage this product diversity in order to limit changeover costs and safeguard production efficiency. Those who use automation wisely can also remain competitive in the world market. However, they also need to master the corresponding technology and have the right employees who can proactively shape these changes.
How did you help Kardex Remstar develop the LR 35?
Follert: Kardex Remstar was working on a new storage system capable of directly storing bins without the need for a tray. We played out different scenarios using our application expertise to determine how to position this product. The versatility of the production systems and thus also the storage systems that support them were very important issues for us. The LR 35 has arrived on the intralogistics market just in time.
What do you think of the LR 35?
Follert: This is a strong piece of storage logistics; a functioning unit. For mini-load systems, we need foundations, secure floor rails, etc. With the Kardex Remstar LR 35 we simply order the machine, assemble the compact design and immediately benefit from the concentrated intralogistics performance without having any major plant engineering work.
Kardex Remstar, LLC, a company of the Kardex Group is a leading provider of automated storage and retrieval systems for manufacturing, distribution, warehousing, offices and institutions. For information about our dynamic storage solutions, call 800-639-5805 or visit www.kardexremstar.com.
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