New picking system creates faster, denser pallet

Warehouse contractor SSI Schaefer has launched an automatic case-packing system in the UK, lightening the load for the industry by offering drivers more pallet space and reduced journey times.

Speaking at the Warehousing Futures 2008 conference on 10 September, the German firm introduced the Schaefer Case Picking system (SCP) to the UK.

Robotic technology and pack-optimising software ensures pallets can be filled more compactly. The group says that increased outbound pallet density will not only reduce transport costs, but also lower energy consumption because fewer lorry miles will be needed.

The system is fully automated and is used to palletise a range of cube-optimised and mixed-case pallets, and is capable of handling 30,000 to 300,000 cases a day.

Business development manager Bob Jane says the SCP is capable of slashing the pallet maker workforce by almost 50%, adding that a pallet could be built four times more quickly than the average.

The system is already operating in a German and US company. Head of business development retail Ernst Baumberger says: "We have reached the goal of making perfectly built customer pallets." Jane concludes: "It won't be too long until this catches on in the UK."