Subscribe to our free, weekly email newsletter!


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 Josh Bond, Associate Editor
October 17, 2011

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

image
Josh Bond
Associate Editor

Josh Bond is an associate editor to Modern. Josh was formerly Modern’s lift truck columnist and contributing editor, has a degree in Journalism from Keene State College and has studied business management at Franklin Pierce.


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!

Recent Entries

Crown invited me to its flagship service center outside Chicago for a demonstration of their operator and technician training programs. Prepared for plenty of PowerPoints and goofy videos, I instead experienced two full days of hands-on, grease-covered, eye-opening and tremendously exciting education.

PwC CEO survey finds only 19% of top retailers say they can fulfill omni-channel demand profitably.

Seegrid’s former director of development from 2003-2007 returns to the company.

March shipments came in at 988,065, which easily eclipsed February by 24 percent, as well as March 2014 by 19 percent. Panjiva said total first quarter shipments at 2,580,899 were 4 percent ahead of the first quarter of 2014.

Diligent monitoring of battery inventory can cut waste, boost battery performance and lifespan, and increase productivity.



© Copyright 2015 Peerless Media LLC, a division of EH Publishing, Inc • 111 Speen Street, Ste 200, Framingham, MA 01701 USA