Highly flexible automatic warehouse

With the launch of the “Stack Access Machine”, short SAM, the Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics IML allows single containers to be removed automatically from piled stacks in the future. SAM works not only for existing stocks, but can also build stocks by itself, without the need for shelf. The first prototype of this brand new unit was exclusively presented at CeMAT 2016.

Stocks in shelves allow the individual access to each single container, but require investments in inflexible shelving. Bulk storage on the other hand is inexpensive and flexible, but access to each individual container is not possible. SAM combines the advantages of both storage systems, using two vertically movable load handlers.

While the lower handling unit extends at the level of the target vessel, the upper unit approaches the level of the container above. Subsequently, the load handlers lift both containers at the same time. The upper tank is raised higher, making room to remove the lower container, which than is placed on the stack operating unit. Finally, the upper unit places the top stack back on the remaining containers.

This principle can also be reversed for stacking individual containers at any point of a stack. The driverless transport vehicle thus makes shelves superfluous.

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