SPAR in Austria is operating a semi-automated solution from KNAPP that enables goods to be picked directly from pallets to roll containers.
Headquartered in Salzburg, SPAR Österreich-Gruppe is one of Austria’s leading grocery chains. The group employs some 75,000 people – 41,000 of them in Austria – and enjoys annual sales of over 13 billion euros (2015). Its network of more than 1500 shops in Austria is served by six regional distribution centres (DCs). At SPAR’s 15,000m2 regional DC in Maria Saal – which supplies around 150 stores in the states of Carinthia and East Tyrol – the company worked in partnership with KNAPP to develop an innovative, semi-automatic fulfilment system.
With steady growth, the Maria Saal DC was facing increased dispatch volumes. As picking large quantities of goods directly from pallets to roll containers presents a huge physical challenge, the company sought a solution that would improve ergonomics for employees, maintain flexibility in the picking process and increase warehouse performance.
KNAPP’s Pick-it-Easy Move solution features a goods-to-person workstation that enables the efficient and shop-friendly picking of the entire range of fresh and dry goods. Picking is performed directly from the pallet to the roll container, eliminating the need to depalletize goods. The workstation – a rail-guided picking cart – moves automatically between the target locations, which are 16 roll containers, eight on each side, that are positioned on individual lifts.
Forklift drivers receive instructions via mobile terminals regarding which pallets of fastmoving goods to retrieve from the high-bay racking and deliver to the Pick-it-Easy Move. Two pallets are loaded on the front of the workstation, from which the picker takes goods and places them into the target roll containers according to instructions given on the computer screen – including exactly where each item should be placed for optimum space utilization.
The mobile workstation is designed so that goods can be pushed – rather than lifted – from the pallet to the roll container.
Along with easy adjustment of both the height of the pallet load and the target roll container, this ensures ergonomic picking of up to 600 cartons per hour. When picking into a roll container is complete, the operator lowers it to the floor with the press of a button.