Supermarket distributor eliminates manual labor in mixed-case, pallet-building process

Casebook 2012: Wholesaler adds a descrambler and eliminates manual labor in mixed-case, pallet-building process.

By ·

When Associated Food Stores, a major wholesale supermarket distributor, embarked on a mission to automate a portion of one of its warehouses, it chose an automated case conveyor.

The company needed a solution that would allow a unit load automated storage and retrieval system (AS/RS) to feed single-SKU pallets to a robot that would de-layer full carton layers.

Associated Food Stores needed a descrambler that was extremely flexible—one that could quickly handle virtually any box pattern and almost any box size.  After the layer was singulated, each carton needed to be labeled. In a very short space, the company needed to gap the cases and then know exactly where the leading edge of each case was in enough time for the tamp head to come down and apply the label.

The new descrambler is able handle a large number of cases per layer, a high rate of layers per minute, complex layer patterns, and a variety of product types. It allows for variable speed and is capable of handling the company’s current and future needs.

A registration conveyor is also used to space cartons mechanically without complex controls required with some servo solutions. The system provides a predictable location for the front edge of each carton to allow the labeler to do its job.

The new system allowed AFS to eliminate manual labor and product damage from depalletizing to the label application process. The descrambler allows for variable speed, which is a necessity for the company as the rate is determined by a downstream label applicator that can handle up to 40 cases per minute and a robot that can deliver up to four layers per minute.

Intralox
888-427-2358
http://www.intralox.com


More Fixed Path Coverage

More from Modern’s 2012 Casebook


About the Author

Josh Bond, Senior Editor
Josh Bond is Senior Editor for Modern, and was formerly Modern’s lift truck columnist and associate editor. He has a degree in Journalism from Keene State College and has studied business management at Franklin Pierce University.

Subscribe to Modern Materials Handling Magazine!

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Find out what the world’s most innovative companies are doing to improve productivity in their plants and distribution centers.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Latest Whitepaper
Top 20 industrial lift truck suppliers, 2017
The top lift truck suppliers list is changing with industry acquisitions causing a dramatic departure from the norm.
Download Today!
From the November 2017 Modern Materials Handling Issue
A new facility, iPhones and a new WMS allowed cookware manufacturer Lodge to double its business for the fourth time in 20 years and shorten order delivery time from 10 days to three.
10th Annual Salary Survey: The Price of Performance
Let’s put Automatic Data Capture (ADC) Technology to Work
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
The State of the DC Voice Market
A lot has changed in the last 10 years, especially in voice technology. This webinar will cover the state of the voice market, review two leading voice solutions and help you gain a better understanding of the options and capabilities available today.
Register Today!
EDITORS' PICKS
Top 20 industrial lift truck suppliers, 2017
The top lift truck suppliers list is changing with industry acquisitions causing a dramatic...
Lodge Manufacturing: Distribution Cast in Iron
A new facility, iPhones and a new WMS allowed cookware manufacturer Lodge to double its business for...

Rochester Drug Cooperative: Robots ready for work
It’s still early stages, but Rochester Drug Cooperative is proving that mobile robotic piece...
System Report: Pouch sorter powers Stage’s fulfillment needs
How a hometown department store chain transformed its e-fulfillment processes with pouch sortation...