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An automated warehouse industry leader secured a major customer in the online retail supermarket sector, which subsequently necessitated the need to extend its material handling picking line by 20%.
When an online order generates a pick list, there are two processes, the first of which is a despatch note to retrieve the requested stock from storage and bring to the picking line. The second creates a TOTE pick, programmed to move along the line to predetermined stations to pick up goods.
Iconsys planned to install a Phase 2 extension to the existing pallet conveyor, as well as to the TOTE conveyor areas. Four extra pick stations had to be built, along with the required pallet infeed conveyors.
At the heart of the system, a Siemens S7-400 Programmable Logic Controller communicates with several field devices over a Profibus network. They feature top-of–the–range SEW distributed gear motors with onboard inverters, to control the speed and direction of product flow on the conveyor.
Product/TOTE monitoring used Sick Barcode readers via Profibus, providing real-time data to the PLC for automatic TOTE and pallet forwarding, re-work and/or storage. Extensive use of distributed remote IO stations from the Siemens ET200S and SEW Z6 range minimised cabling work.
Four new operator stations were supplied for lift and TOTE release control. Weigh scales were fitted at each operator station to prevent TOTE overloading. Sick photoelectric sensors were used to check conveyor end-of-travel slowdown and stop limits, profile checks and barcode reader triggers.
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