(Marchtrenk, Austria, 28 April 2023) TGW has developed an innovative system that will allow grocery producers and retailers as well as food service specialists to react flexibly to the challenges of the future: with FullPick, both pallets and roll cages can be loaded fully automatically and in a shop-friendly manner.
The modular solution for picking mixed pallets (mixed case palletising) is based on TGW's decades of experience, including in the area of refrigerated and freezer applications. The experts working for the intralogistics specialist analysed and optimised the entire process from goods receiving to sequencing to fully-automated order picking. Experience taken from best practice examples such as COOP in Switzerland was incorporated into the standardised modules.
TGW supplies its clients with everything from mechatronics to software, all from a single source. Many years of practical experience were incorporated into the new generation of the AutoStax palletising robot. AutoStax can be implemented for shop replenishment with both pallets and roll cages. FullPick offers the additional option of a fully integrated module for split case picking. The big advantage: unlike in conventional systems, this process no longer requires a separate module.
Split case picking is becoming more and more important because supermarkets are relying more and more on small city shops supplied with individual products rather than bulk packages. On the other hand, the "classic" branch stores still need to be supplied with pallets.
"With FullPick, customers can react flexibly to changes in shop network structure and increase their resilience in the face of future challenges. Heraclitus' aphorism that 'nothing is permanent except change' also applies to the grocery industry and grocery retail; it is therefore no longer a matter of whether to automate, but when," affirms Michael Schedlbauer, Vice President of Business Development Grocery at TGW.
Volatile supply chains, shortage of labour, stricter ergonomics regulations and the availability of space are the biggest drivers of automation, according to TGW experts. "The rising energy prices are becoming an important criterion, particularly in refrigerated and freezer applications. Compact automation reduces the volume that needs to be cooled, and the lower that volume, the lower the operating costs," explains Schedlbauer.
Refrigeration and freezer logistics projects are getting an extra boost because more people are opting for healthier diets than before, which means that more sensitive foods like fruit, vegetables and milk and protein substitute products need to be delivered to shops quickly. Even discount stores that have relied on optimised manual processes for decades are now turning to automation. The advantage of FullPick is that the system can be implemented in new installations (greenfield) as well as existing ones (brownfield).
In order to better support customers in the grocery industry and grocery retail, TGW is pooling its expertise: the Business Unit Grocery Retail, headed by Peter Ehrenhuber, is responsible for the further development of shop-friendly solutions.