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New gripper design helps grocery distribution centre operations

09 January 2013

SCM Handling recently developed an innovative robot gripper tool to handle stacking plastic crates with bale arms, as frequently used for a variety of food products particularly produce

The task presented to SCM was to design a robot based system to pick crates from a conveyor and stack them onto pallets with the additional challenge of picking an empty pallet from a stack and placing this onto the palletised crates where required. For example four layers of crates on a pallet then another pallet then four further layers of crates.

This enables the customer, a major high street food retailer, to load crates in their distribution centre in a way that means the pallet load can easily be divided into ‘part pallet loads’ for delivery to the supermarket(s).

The crates are delivered to the robot pick point as required for the order to be despatched and this is controlled by distribution centre order picking / despatch software system.

SCM worked with their partner Kuka Robotics and used a Kuka KR120 R3200 Quantec robot at the ‘heart’ of the system which gave the correct combination of payload and reach required.
This further adds to the proven designs that are available from SCM Handling who are supplying complete automated unit load handling systems for the food industry.


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