The benefits of the trilateral stacker crane in the warehouse – logistics 4.0 in practice

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The benefits of the trilateral stacker crane in the warehouse – logistics 4.0 in practice

SMA Magnetics is a Polish company that has been focusing on automation for years, both in the production process and logistics. In the factory warehouse in Zabierzów, specialists from Mecalux installed a conveyor system that connects the storage area with the production area. A trilateral stacker crane works in each of the three aisles.

Founded in 1981, the SMA Magnetics makes electromagnetic components used in a large variety of industries, such as the power, automotive and transportation industry. Its products go to customers in Poland and abroad. The company has been known for years for using the latest technology in all processes.

Recently, SMA Magnetics has launched a new automated warehouse in Zabierzów near Kraków, equipped with a conveyor system connected to the local factory.

Trilateral stacker crane distributes pallets on two sides

The investment is intended to provide the necessary storage space in view of production growth and the company’s projected development. Conveyors connecting the two facilities transport the raw materials for production every day, and then take back the finished products. The transport circuit consists of three conveyor systems located on different floors. The first one is located in the front part of the automated warehouse, at floor level.

The other conveyors are mounted on the side of the racks at levels 1 and 2, and each of them is connected to a different production line. Three aisles with single-depth racks were installed on each side that, in total, provide a 791-pallet capacity. They stand 10 m high, although in one of the aisles racks only reach 7.7 m. The reason for the shorter bays is that the input and output conveyors are located right above. Distributing the goods correctly strengthens the warehouse’s productivity, thanks to the optimisation of handling equipment movements.

Raw materials and finished products are deposited in two of these aisles, while the third holds semi-finished goods. Before entering the racks, the semi-finished products are covered with a resin coating and stored for eight hours until the resin dries.

Meanwhile, high rotation goods are located at the front and the slower movers at the rear in each one of the aisles. The warehouse is fully automated, so it operates continuously around the clock. A trilateral stacker crane in each aisle is tasked with inserting and extracting pallets from their slots. Trilateral stacker cranes have a rotating head enabling them to pick-up and leave pallets in three positions: one frontal and two lateral. This equipment moves at travel speeds of 100 m/min.

WMS assigns locations to the goods

Warehouse management, i.e. coordination of the entire process taking place in the warehouse, is facilitated by Easy WMS software. It is responsible for designating storage sites for products on the basis of their characteristics and rotation. Thanks to it, the stock can be tracked in real time and the customers can be assured of efficient and timely execution of orders.

Among the key benefits, users name the following:

– maximum use of the area, optimal use of available space

– high efficiency of the warehouse process

– connection of the warehouse with the factory (conveyor system transports finished products, semi-finished products and raw materials between the warehouse and the factory).

The warehouse can accommodate 791 pallets with dimensions of 800 x 1,200 mm. Maximum pallet weight is 1,000 kg. The racks are 10 and 7.7 m high and 23.5 m long.

Photo: Mecalux

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